is an easily discernible phenomenon in belief-oriented religions like Christianity and
Islam which have a simple and exclusive pattern to their faith. They generally insist that
there is only One God, who has only one Son or final Prophet, and only one true scripture,
which is literally God's word.
They hold that belief
in this One God and his chief representative brings salvation in an eternal heaven and
disbelief causes condemnation to an eternal hell. Muslims daily chant "there is no
God but Allah and Mohammed is his (last) prophet". Most Christians, whether Catholic
or Protestant, regard belief in Christ as one's personal savior as the only true way to
Fundamentalists are literalists in these traditions who
hold rigidly to their beliefs and insist that since their religion alone is true the other
religions should not be tolerated, particularly in the lands where members of their
religion are in a majority. Fundamentalists generally hold to their religion's older
social customs and refuse to integrate into the broader stream of modern society which
recognizes freedom of religious belief.