I'm interested to make this question after reading Do Catholics view atheism as a sin?, where the answer is :

Catholicism states quite clearly that atheism is a sin. Disbelieving God means that you are rebelling against God's commands and therefore sinning.

The bold word is quite difficult for me to understand, because it can raise a question "whose God ?"

In other words, the sentence above is the same meaning with this sentence :

Disbelieving Jesus means that he/she is rebelling against God's command and therefore sinning.

But then again, it raise a question "whose God command ?"

More complicated:

Disbelieving Jesus means that he/she is rebelling against Jesus' command and therefore sinning.

A person (who has a religion) doesn't believe Jesus.
So, do Catholics view other religion as a sin?

  • 4
    The True God, of course. Why would God be pleased with someone who worships a counterfeit version of himself?
    – curiousdannii
    May 19, 2020 at 22:48
  • You are asking two different questions: 1) How could an atheist sin when they rebel against God's command if they don't even believe in God in the first place? 2) Is "other religion" a sin?
    – zippy2006
    May 20, 2020 at 4:09
  • @curiosdanni, to whom is the True God ? to whom is the counterfeit version ? In the point of view of other religion themselves surely they say "we worships The True God".
    – karma
    May 21, 2020 at 14:52
  • @zippy2006, your number 1 is not what I meant. What I mean is : 1) How could an atheist is said by theist "they rebel against God's command" while they don't even believe that God exist in the first place?
    – karma
    May 21, 2020 at 14:55
  • @karma I have no idea how that is different from what I said, but either way you're asking two very different questions.
    – zippy2006
    May 21, 2020 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


"whose God ?"

There is only one God, the creator of the heavens and the earth:

Ps 95:5 For all the gods of the Gentiles* are devils: but the Lord made the heavens.

*i.e., unbelievers

St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., commentates on this verse:

St. James [2:19] says, “the devils also believe and tremble;” and, as David alludes to false gods, especially in this Psalm, he, therefore, assigns a reason for our God being feared above all gods, when he says, “For all the gods of the gentiles are devils; but the Lord made the heavens;” that is to say, God is to be feared above all false gods, erroneously adored by the gentiles, because the gods of the gentiles are not true gods, but demons, who, through pride, have revolted from the God who created them, and have been doomed by him to eternal punishment; “but the Lord,” instead of being a spirit created, is a creating spirit, who “made the heavens,” the greatest and the most beautiful things in nature, as well as everything under its canopy, that is, all things created.

Worshiping false gods is the sin of idolatry.

False gods are airy nothings:
Pohle's Dogmatic Treatise vol. 1:

The Book of Wisdom devotes several chapters76 to the refutation and condemnation of Polytheism and Idolatry. In fact, Holy Scripture never tires of denouncing Idolatry as foolish and impious, and the pagan deities as “not gods,”77 “lies and vanity,”78 “wind and vanity,”79 airy nothings.80

76. Wisd. 12-15.
77. 2 Kings 19:18; Jer. 2:11.
78. Jer. 16:19.
79. Is. 41:24; Dan. 5:23.
80. Ps. 95:5; not אֶלוֹהים, but אֱלִילִים, i. e., nihila ["nothings"].

To worship them violates the First Commandment:

Exodus 20:2 I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.

In the ¶ after what I quoted in my answer to "Do Catholics view atheism as a sin?", St. Thomas Aquinas writes (Summa Theologica II-II q. 10 a. 3 co.):

Nor is it possible for one who has a false opinion of God, to know Him in any way at all, because the object of his opinion is not God.

  • "Worshiping false gods is the sin of idolatry". Geremia, In the point of view of other religion themselves surely they say "we worship The True God". I don't know their point of view to other religion's God whether they say that other religion's God is a false God or not. So I ask how is the Catholic's view to other religion's God. The verse : "For all the gods of the gentiles are devils" ... does it mean "for all other religion's God are devils" ?
    – karma
    May 21, 2020 at 15:06
  • @karma Are you asking if all monotheistic religions worship the same, true God?
    – Geremia
    May 21, 2020 at 18:45
  • @karma if your question is does Catholicism teach that other religions are sinful to follow, then it necessarily follows that Catholicism view about who the True God is is relevant. The fact that other religions claim to follow the True God for the most part doesn't change anything
    – eques
    Sep 17, 2020 at 14:32
  • The OP is clearly misunderstanding religion as a single atomic action. Focusing only on the prohibition against idolatry misses the point of what is actually contained in adhering to a heretical, heathen, or antitheistic "religion". The Church clearly teaches that adherents to false religions do not, in general, sin by adherence, which can be of itself even virtuous, but in the general case sin as a result of such cults' false moral/theological teachings and/or by not knowing what they ought to know (c.f. Sirach). Sep 19, 2020 at 22:43
  • Idolatry is, of course also wrong and relevant, but I don't think that's enough on its own to be a full answer. Sep 19, 2020 at 22:44

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