Forgiveness and World Religions

Unconditional Love and Forgiveness are spiritual principles that are universally taught in all of the great world religions, and they are certainly the central message of Christianity. Jesus spoke of these principles many times, and walked this earth as a blazing lamp of spiritual energy, kindling the fire of love and Spirit in everyone he met.  From the cross, he modeled the ultimate act of forgiveness when he asked his Father to forgive those who were torturing and killing him. He told us to love one another as He had loved us, and to forgive our brother, seventy times seven times if necessary. But he didn’t tell us how to do it. I know many Christians who are very dedicated to their faith, and yet perennially frustrated with the petty hate and anger that often arises within them. They wonder, how do I love a person, Jesus, if he is immoral or just terribly annoying? Why should I forgive my brother every time if he’s being a jerk and hurting people? Why did you make such a big point about this and leave us this mandate to forgive, when it’s just so hard to do? Now that I’ve experienced and witnessed the freedom of forgiveness so many times, I think I understand why Jesus made such a big point of it.

Christianity is not the only religion that comes to life and greater vibrancy with the practice of real forgiveness. The tools and experience of forgiveness will help a Buddhist deal with the emotional pain of life’s impermanence, and it supports the principle of non-attachment. A yogi will find the experience of union with God’s Light within, if their “within” spaces are not clogged up with stagnant energy and blocks in the chakra system from old wounds that never healed. Jewish person can consciously choose to “clean house” at Yom Kippur if they know how to use the Eight Steps to clear up a relationship that got messy in the last year – atonement happens. This model and method of forgiveness is easily and beautifully utilized in the Muslim audiences it is taught in, and forgiveness is mentioned many times in the Qur’an. That’s because Unconditional Love and Forgiveness are part of Universal Law, and every great religion has intuitively named this in its own way in its own time for its people.

Quotes about forgiveness from World Religions

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

—Luke 23

“Keep to forgiveness, and enjoin kindness.”

—Qur’an 7:199-200 (Islam)

Forgiveness subdues (all) in this world; what is there that forgiveness cannot achieve? What can a wicked person do unto him who carries the sabre of forgiveness in his hand? Righteousness is the one highest good; and forgiveness is the one supreme peace …”

—The Mahabharata (Hindu)

Carry us across, as by a boat across the sea, for our good, Shining bright, drive away our sin.  

—Rig Veda (Hindu)

“It is forbidden to be obdurate and not allow yourself to be appeased. On the contrary, one should be easily pacified and find it difficult to become angry. When asked by an offender for forgiveness, one should forgive.” 

—The Torah (Judaism)

I grant forgiveness to all living beings. May all living beings grant me forgiveness. My friendship is with all living beings. My enmity is totally nonexistent.


There needs to be a great forgiveness…

—Native American

“But if someone is steadfast and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow.”

—Qur’an, 42:43