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Apostasy

    '''Apostasy''' (Greek language|Greek απο ''apo'' "away apart" στασις ''stasis'' "standing") is the formal renunciation of one's religion In a narrow sense the term refers to renunciation ''and'' criticizing one's former religion One who commits apostasy is an '''apostate''' or one who '''apostatises''' One of possible the reasons for this renunciation is loss of faith
    Many religious movements consider it a vice a corruption of the virtue of piety in the sense that when piety fails apostasy is the result However most convert to a new religion can also be considered apostates from a previous belief The word is also used to refer to renunciation of belief in a cause other than religion
    Several religious movements punish apostates Apostates may be shunned by the members of their former religious group This may be the official policy of the religious group or may happen spontaneously Some religions may respond to apostasy by excommunicating the apostate
    Some Atheists and agnostics use the term "deconversion" to describe loss of faith in a religion Freethinkers see it as gaining rationality and respect for the scientific method and not a loss
    The reliability of the testimonies of apostates is an important and controversial issue in the study of apostasy in cults and new religious movements

    In Christianity

    Christians often quote the prophecy in 2 Thessalonians about a coming apostasy:
    "Let no one in any way deceive you for that day cannot come without the coming of the apostasy first and the appearing of the man of sin the son of perdition who sets himself against;" (2 Thess 2 3 NASB/WEY)

    Signs of apostasy variy widely amongst the numerous Christian denominations the most common include:
    1. Denial of the Trinity and the deity of Christ;
    2. Denial of the deity of the Holy Spirit;
    3. Denial of moral absolutes as found in the Bible;
    4. Acceptance of the theory of Evolution

    Some denominations quote Jude and Titus 3:10 saying that an apostate or heretic needs to be "rejected after the first and second admonition"
    See also Great Apostasy

    In Hindusim

    Dharmatyaga (Apostasy) is the abandonment of the Dharma or Vaidika Dharma ("religion of the Vedas") by the abandonment of the "sruti" and "smrti" ("revelation" and "tradition" respectively)
    Chapter 18 of the Bhagavad Gita starting from verse 66 (beginning with "sarva-dharman partityajya") has been interpreted as to express that abandoning Dharma or to exchange it with anything else would amount to sacrilege disobedience of God and as falling from the right path
    The srutis and the smrtis constitute My own command He who violates them will be going against My commandment I consider him as a traitor against Me. Although he may call Himself My devotee he is not a Vaisnava (Visnudharma 7631)

    The Manu Smriti also states that those that renounce "sruti" and "smrti" "must be cast out by the virtuous as an atheist and a scorner of the sacred scripture" (Manu Smriti 2, 11)

    In Islam

    In Islam apostasy is called "irtidãd" ("turning back") and it is considered by Muslims to be a profound insult
    Sources are divided on whether Muslim apostasy deserves punishment The Hadith (a body of legends and stories about Muhammad) includes this quote "Kill whoever changes his religion"
    In Islamic law or Shari'a if a Muslim consciously and without coercion declares their rejection of Islam then the penalty for male apostates is the death penalty or life imprisonment for women A person born of Muslim parents that rejects Islam is called a "murtad fitri" (natural apostate) and a person that converted to Islam and later rejects the religion is called a "murtad milli" (apostate from the community)
    An alternate more benign belief within Islam is the freedom to convert to and from Islam without legal penalty and consider the aforementioned Hadith quote as insufficient confirmation of harsh punishment Important Muslim scholars from the past as well as contemporary scholars held the view that apostasy is a serious crime but undeserving of the death penalty
    Some Islamic countries such as Mauritania consider apostasy cause for execution or divorce

    In Judaism

    The term apostasy is also derived from Greek ἀποστάτης meaning "political rebel" as applied to rebellion against God its law and the faith of Israel (in Hebrew מרד) in the old testament
    Other expressions for apostate as used by rabinnical scholars are "momer" (מומר literally "the one that changes") and "poshea israel" (פושע ישראל literally "transgessor of Israel") or simply "kofer" (כופר literally "denier")
    The first recorded case of apostasy in Judaism is referred to in the words of the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek xxxii 2324) about Jason and Melenaus who deserted their religion and their nation to the horror and hatred of their contemporaries
    Paul the Apostole was accused of apostasy by the council of James and the elders for teaching apostasy from the law given by Moses Scholars consider this the reason by which some early Christinas such as the Ebionites repudiated Paul for being an apostate
    In the Talmud Elishah Ben Abuyah (known as Aḥer) is singled out as an apostate and epicurian by the Pharisees
    During the Spanish inquisition a systematic conversion of Jews to Christianity took place some of which under threats and force These cases of apostasy provoked the indignation of the Jewish communities in Spain
    Several notorious Inquistors such as Juan Torquemada and Don Francisco the archibishop of Coria were descendants of apostate Jews Other apostates that made their mark in history by attempting the conversion of other Jews in the 1300s include Juan de Valladolid and Astruc Remoch

    Noted Apostates

    • Aurelius Augustine apostate of Manicheism
    • Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • Parvin Darabi
    • Nonie Darwish
    • Benjamin Disraeli
    • Julian the Apostate
    • Gustav Mahler
    • Karl Marx
    • Maria Monk
    • Ali Sina
    • Salman Rushdie
    • Ibn Warraq

    See also

    • Virtue

    External links


    References