How would one refer to discrimination purely based on religion? Is there a single word?
For example discrimination based on sex is often referred to as sexism, discrimination based on race is often referred to as racism.

I found one similar question online, at Yahoo Answers, but unfortunately as expected the quality of the answers is laughable, and outdated.

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    What's wrong with the accepted answer from that link? “You'd just call it religious intolerance but there are specific names for each religion e.g. Christianophobia, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Anti-Mormonism etc.” That sounds spot-on to me. – Bradd Szonye Apr 30 '13 at 19:17
  • Agree with @BraddSzonye -- and unfortunately antitheism is already taken. (The Yahoo Answers respondant who suggests "theism" is way off the mark). – David Aldridge Apr 30 '13 at 20:22
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    I have heard the word "faithism" used in informal contexts. – cobaltduck Apr 30 '13 at 20:52
  • How about a neologism like say ... "theophobe"? – RBarryYoung May 3 '13 at 3:52

Religious discrimination is the most widely use term, and there doesn't appear to a well accepted single-word term for this. Although religionism is most often described as a fervent religious zeal, it can also be used to describe religious discrimination:

  1. excessive religious ardour or zeal
  2. extreme piety
  3. discrimination or prejudice on the basis of religion or religious beliefs.

…according to Wiktionary at least—I'm unable to find another source for this usage.

On a side note, Wikipedia 's entry for religionism redirects to religious discrimination.


In some contexts, I would think that antitheism might work.

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    I'm not so sure. Racism tends to indicate a bias towards/against a specific race. Antitheism on the other hand tends to indicate a bias against all religions (or at least against theism, ie the belief in god or gods). – Jed Oliver Apr 30 '13 at 23:30
  • the way the question is worded, it seems to be looking for a categorical word -- racism is bias based on race in general (it doesn't specify which race and can be used for bias against any race in particular). Antitheism would be against any/all religions in general. – rosends May 1 '13 at 1:12

"Religious discrimination" is an established phrasal noun and should be perfectly adequate!


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