Question 2

First of all, what does 'equal' mean in this context? Religions certainly teach that everyone should be treated equally, as they believe God treats them. However that does not mean that they believe everyone's viewpoint is equally valid. Each religion is likely to teach that it alone contains the full truth, even if they recognise that other religions also contain part of the truth about God.

Not allowing others to practise their religion is another matter. Most religions preach tolerance towards other religions, but they do not necessarily agree on what this means. Some people draw a distinction between belief and action - they may agree that people may hold whichever beliefs they like, but not necessarily permit them to practise them, especially if it would cause harm to others.

An extreme example may help to show what this means: suppose there were a religion which believed its God required human sacrifice (some ancient religions believed in this and you may remember that Abraham was prepared to kill his own son, until he discovered that this was not a requirement). Most people would disagree with such a belief, but might respect someone's right to believe in it.

However, most people would not then be tolerant of such a religion actually putting their belief into practice. Anyone who did carry out human sacrifice would be arrested and put on trial for murder, whatever their religious justification. If you apply this to issues such as abortion or female circumcision, you can see how complicated the issue can get.

You can find out more about tolerance on the Religious Tolerance.org website.