Faith and religious bullying

People can be bullied for different things. And sometimes people are bullied because of their religion. If it happens to you, it’s not your fault and you can get help.

Being treated differently

You might feel like you're being treated differently because of your faith or religion. This could be at school, college, by friends or with relatives. It's wrong for anyone to hurt, tease, ignore, threaten, tell jokes or call you names. It's bullying and you don't have to cope on your own.

You might be bullied about your:

  • religion
  • religious practices, like not eating meat or drinking alcohol
  • clothes or symbols, like if you wear a headscarf, cross or kara
  • where you were born
  • the way you speak or your accent
  • class or caste.

Being treated differently because of your religion, lack of religion or your beliefs is a type of discrimination. It's also wrong for someone to treat you unfairly because of your friend or family members' religion.

It's still discrimination if someone doesn't mean to treat you differently or if they make a wrong assumption about you. Discrimination is against the law and you can get help to get it stopped.


5 things to try:

  • let friends and teachers know when you take part in religious events so they understand more about you and what you’re doing.
  • share photos or blogs about religious festivals so other people can see what these are like.
  • tell friends about the foods and drinks you’re not allowed in your religion so they don't offer you these.
  • ask friends why they wear religious items and how they feel about it.
  • ask friends if you can join in with their religious events. This can help you understand their religion and culture a bit more.

Ways to get help

Being yourself

You have the right to be treated with respect and to practise or not practise a religion or your beliefs. Someone who is bullying you might judge you without getting to know you or your beliefs.

If you don’t feel respected and accepted for who you are, you might want to change who you spend time with. It can be hard to make new friends and you might worry about feeling lonely. Remember, you don’t have to change who you are to fit in with anyone else. 

hate it when
they make fun
of my culture

Feeling down? Try contacting us for help

Understanding others

The world would be a very boring place if everyone looked the same, spoke the same and did the same things. Having different people around is a really positive thing.

If you find new or different things scary you could find positive facts about a culture or religion to help you to see another perspective.

You could ask people questions about their beliefs and explain more about your faith, religion or values. This could be a way of learning about each other and about the things that make us who we are.

Celebrating our differences can sometimes help us meet new people, make friends or stop bullying from happening.


Building confidence

Watch: Am I racist?

Watch: Racial stereotypes