Religious Shunning

Only yesterday I was no different than them, yet I was saved. I am explaining to you the way of life of a people who say every sort of wicked thing about me because I sacrificed their friendship [approval, acceptance] to gain my own soul. I left the dark paths of their duplicity and turned my eyes toward the light where there is salvation, truth, and justice. They have exiled me now from their society, yet I am content. Mankind [families] only exiles the one whose large spirit rebels against injustice and tyranny. [S]he who does not prefer exile to servility is not free in the true and necessary sense of freedom.”  ― Kahlil Gibran


Most of the world’s religions practice shunning of non-compliant people, and the consequences are devastating for the individuals and families affected. Below are some resources that may be helpful to you. This page is currently being updated, so please check back!

Muslim Heritage

SEDAA is an organization that presents issues for people of Muslim heritage, and Dr. Savin Bapir-Tardy, a counseling psychologist at the the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization (IKWRO) and a lecturer in psychology at the University of West London, wrote the following article about shunning:


Shunning is also a common practice in many Christian sects as well, particularly Pentecostal and Mormon churches. Articles on the internet are abundant and I will include some links to them in my updates.

Amish Communities

Film: The Amish: Shunned Directed by Callie Wiser 2014.

Sexual Abuse in the Amish Community–ABC News Report

The Amish community is a mysterious world within modern America, a place frozen in another time. The Amish live without automobiles or electricity. Education ends at the eighth grade and life largely centers on farming, family and faith.Some 90 percent of children raised Amish choose to stay in the community. But one who did not is 20-year-old Mary Byler.
Through the years, by Mary’s account, she was raped by several different attackers. But one abused her more often than the others — her brother Johnny. Johnny, one of Mary’s eight brothers, began assaulting her when he was 12 and she was 6. The assaults continued into her teen years, she said.”The Amish emphasize the simplicity of life, plainness of life. They accentuate several themes, such as pacifism, the importance of community,” said Donald Kraybill, professor of sociology at Elizabethtown College and author of “The Riddle of Amish Culture.”

Also, for Mary, there’s an ironic carryover from her former life an abiding faith. She said, “I feel like God helps those who help themselves. You know, there’s a verse in the Bible to that effect, and I really believe it’s true, because, you know what, if you don’t have the strength to stand up for yourself, there’s really not much he can do for you.”

For More Information about Irene Garrett’s work, visit this Web site:

For More Information about Donald Kraybill’s work, visit this Web site:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *