The Universality of Forgiveness: Perspectives from Religion and Culture

ISSUE: Vol.5  No.2 June 2019 Article 6  pp.50 – 56
AUTHOR: Olusegun Obasanjo
DOI : 10.32051/06241906



Among Christians, forgiveness is a virtue, and all are expected to practise this virtue. It is common, therefore, to hear expressions like “You are a Christian. You must forgive.” Such expressions highlight some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the concept of forgiveness. For instance, forgiveness is not only a Christian affair as wrongly perceived by many. It is a universal concept encouraged in both theological and secular contexts. Within the secular context, forgiveness is encouraged and promoted by psychologists for psychotherapy and general wellbeing. Within the theological context, it is preached and practised by almost all religions. This paper examines the religious and cultural perspectives of forgiveness with a view to showing its universality and relevance for peaceful co-existence, social harmony, and progressive nation-building.


CHIEF OLUSEGUN OBASANJO holds a PhD in Christian Theology from the National Open University of Nigeria where he currently serves as a Course Facilitator. He was President of Nigeria from 1999-2007.

Obasanjo, Olusegun. “The Universality of Forgiveness: Perspective from Religion and Culture.” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies 5, no.2 (2019): 50-56.

© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (

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