What is the word for a person who strongly believes in their own adopted or birth religion and opposes or criticizes other religions?

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    a believer, of course – user3306356 Jul 18 '14 at 3:54
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    @user3306356: ;-) Or enlightened. Or saved. Or... – Drew Jul 18 '14 at 6:10
  • 3
    Are you looking for a pejorative term? – user867 Jul 18 '14 at 8:07
  • The word you are looking for id A chauvinist – Shwetabh Shekhar Jul 19 '14 at 11:33

Zealot might be the word you're looking for.

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    I don't know that a zealot necessarily criticizes other religions by definition. – Henry74 Jul 18 '14 at 8:27
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    @Henry Speaking of definitions: The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political or other ideals" and Cambridge as "a person who has very strong opinions about something, and tries to make others have them too". A degree of hostility toward other beliefs seems central. – Anko Jul 18 '14 at 11:31
  • @Anko, I'm convinced. – Henry74 Jul 18 '14 at 17:43

You can use the term a religious fanatic.

Religious fanaticism is fanaticism related to a person's, or a group's, devotion to a religion.

fanatic — a person who is (too) enthusiastic about something.


Ideologue seems to fit, its use does not seem to me to be exclusively for religious views but seems quite appropriate to this case.

ideologue — zealous supporter of ideology: a particularly zealous or doctrinaire supporter of an ideology


A bigot (or, more specifically, a religious bigot) fits this.

From Merriam-Webster:

Bigot - noun /ˈbɪgət/

: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

  • @tchrist What would be the correct IPA form for this word? The pronunciation above is the only one I've seen from various dictionaries except for one that used \bĭ'gət\ instead (though even it listed \ˈbi-gət\ as well). – Doc Jul 18 '14 at 21:30
  • @tchrist I've edited to use ɪ instead of i. As I said though, I simply took the pronunciation from the sources I was finding (Google, Merriam-Webster, Oxford Dictionaries). I unfortunately don't have a subscription to OED. – Doc Jul 18 '14 at 23:33
  • Oxford Dictionaries gives you IPA if you use the international version. – tchrist Jul 18 '14 at 23:39
  • @tchrist I'll keep that in mind for the future. – Doc Jul 19 '14 at 10:02

Sincere (or believer) comes to mind, as it is impossible to be a Christian and not consider all other religions to wrong.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Therefore there are two options.

  • Someone does not believe the above to be true, and therefore they are deceiving themselves and others by claiming to be a Christian.
  • They believe the above to be true, and therefore they MUST consider all other religions to be wrong.

As I understand it, Islam has passages in the Qur'an to the same effect.

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    Just because one believes that other religions are "wrong" doesn't mean that they oppose/criticize those other religions. – Doc Jul 18 '14 at 14:00
  • @Dob, both Islam and Christianity considers evangelism to be a duty, this makes criticize of other religions a requirement. However at least in Christianity there is not a requirement to hate people that believe in other religions. – Ian Jul 18 '14 at 15:18

Dogmatic, perhaps?

Google Definition:

Dogmatic - adjective \dôgˈmatik\

inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true

This term can be applied in a non-religious context, so it might not be quite right for you.

  • This was certainly the first one I thought of, though there are some other good ones here too. – GalacticCowboy Jul 18 '14 at 14:35
  • Because this is an international site, please only include pronunciations given in standard IPA, the International Phonetic Alphabet. – tchrist Jul 18 '14 at 16:08

Triumphalist is the term that is used among scholars.

It implies that the believer is under the impression that their model of the Universe is a 1:1 perfect description of the Universe, is complete and cannot be added to or nuanced, or explained with different metaphors. They believe that their model is the ultimate triumph in describing truth, so any model that differs in any way cannot be as accurate and must therefore be suppressed as 'misleading' and therefore 'evil'.

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