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Shunning facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Shunning is the rejection of a person. It is usual in some religious groups to cut people off if they do not believe the beliefs or follow the rules of the group. It has been used in industrial action (strikes) and as a punishment in certain societies.

Religions which use or have used shunning

  • The Catholic Church, before the Code of Canon Law of 1983. The practice of inquisition is famous. Other religious and quasi-religious groups which use the practice are:
  • Amish.
  • Jehova's Witnesses. Holden says that many keep affiliation out of fear of being shunned and losing contact with friends and family members.
  • Church of Scientology. The Church of Scientology asks its members to quit all communication with Suppressive Persons (those whom the Church deems antagonistic to Scientology). The practice of shunning in Scientology is termed disconnection. In the United States, the Church has tried to argue in court that disconnection is a constitutionally protected religious practice. However, this argument was rejected because the pressure put on individual Scientologists to disconnect means it is not voluntary.
  • Islam: apostasy in Islam (Arabic: ردة, riddah or ارتداد, irtidād) is for a Muslim to abandon Islam by word or deed. It includes the act of converting to another religion or non-acceptance of faith, by a person who was born in a Muslim family or who had previously accepted Islam. Classical Islamic law called for execution, but how it should be punished is a matter of controversy: opinions of Islamic scholars differ on these questions.

Tax implications

In many countries, religions get huge financial advantages by being recognised as religions. They are not taxed, or have much reduced taxes. In the United States, the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution prevents the US government and (through the Bill of Rights) the 50 state governments from imposing church taxes. In 1947, the US Supreme Court ruled that "No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion." This explains why organisations such as Scientology wish to be classified as religions.

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Shunning Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.