From a categorization perspective, I feel creating particular sites for each aspect of religion eats up needless room, and spreads the religious answers thinner than they need be. I'm not going to exaggerate and bring up every minority religion's lack of representation, and every biblical text, but I would have expected that having one site would help form more cohesion in the community, especially since religion is a very synergistic subject. The crossover knowledge from religion to religion would be impressive to see.

I would have expected there to be one religion site, that used tags to identify which religions/issues were involved in a particular answer.

Has this been discussed?

... Is the community afraid of locking different religions into the same site? ;)

  • 29
    Can you really see people getting on on one site?
    – ChrisF Mod
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:32
  • 8
    Practically speaking? I think that every religion has fringe fanatic groups that are over highlighted, but the majority of people would be fine. travel.stackexchange.com manages to keep itself from imploding.
    – Jane Panda
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:43
  • 4
    @Bob - You should look at the discussions on the separate sites. Jewish people will not normally be interested in questions about any Sura any more than most Muslims would be interested in the latest Halacha about washing hands. The different religions have much minutia that would be of little interest to those of other religions.
    – Oded
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:46
  • 7
    By the same token someone using ajax with PHP could care less about the latest Ruby question, and yet stackoverflow seems to get on well enough.
    – Jane Panda
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:48
  • 12
    Yes, and the (language) religious wars need to be quashed, as soon as someone tries to start one. Religion, however, tends to stir emotions much more than choice of programming language.
    – Oded
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:51
  • 2
    Use Macs vs PCs if you wish then ;). It sounded like a good idea to me, but if I'm the only one who thinks this is feasible then I'll concede to the greater knowledge of the community.
    – Jane Panda
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:53
  • 4
    @Bob - I grew up in Jerusalem. Can't say I am an authority, but trust me on this one ;)
    – Oded
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:56
  • 3
    This is just asking for trouble - would this site also merge with atheists.stackexchange.com and trolls.stackexchange.com? Nov 10, 2011 at 14:08
  • +1 for the interesting question, but I'm with the rest that it's asking for flame wars.
    – GUI Junkie
    Nov 10, 2011 at 14:13
  • 1
    I'm impressed that so many people have opinions about this, but not one person has answered. I suppose that says something in itself. It's a sobering thought to think that mankind still has so far to go.
    – Jane Panda
    Nov 10, 2011 at 14:27
  • 1
    In the context of web languages they do care to some degree, but if it makes you feel better I'll stand corrected. :)
    – Jane Panda
    Nov 10, 2011 at 15:15
  • 1
    I heard that there is a field of study called "comparison of religions" or something like that? After all, pure academic discussion of a religion is not related to whether you are religious, just like academic discussion of the micro optimization of a programming language is not related to whether you are worried about the performance of your program.
    – SOFe
    Mar 31, 2017 at 6:41
  • 1
    What about using the religion tag at philosophy.SE?
    – SOFe
    Mar 31, 2017 at 6:43
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question because it is obsolete. Two of the sites identified in the question have graduated and merger is not going to happen. Jun 26, 2017 at 2:43
  • 4
    With nine billion blockchain sites, this idea should be thoroughly dead now. Jun 13, 2019 at 19:39

7 Answers 7


What does it mean that a site "eats up needless room?" — In an academic sense, it would be nice to see everyone collaborating on the world's religions… but those you listed are not academic sites.

They are not interchangeable subjects you might pick and choose between based on the context of your problem (like choosing a programming language on Stack Overflow). The members of these communities aren't interested in the local catch-all "religion expert" to weigh in on their deeply-held religious beliefs. These are applied sites, not tags under some academic "world religion" study.

Sites and their subjects are formed around communities; communities with common goals, problems, and interests. The Christians and Jews on those sites want to consult and commune with those who are of the same teachings and belief system.

In the blog post Merging Season, Joel came up with a set of rules to see if is site X should be subsumed by site Y. So let's substitute "Christianity" for (X) and "Judaism" for (Y), and see if this marriage of subjects sounds like a good match.

Here’s the best we could come up with for deciding whether X [Christianity] should be subsumed by Y [Judaism]:

  1. Almost all Christianity questions are on-topic for Judaism. 2. If [a subject for] Judaism already exists, it already has a tag for Christianity, and nobody is complaining 3. You’re not creating such a big group that you don’t have enough experts to answer all possible questions 4. There’s a high probability that users of Judaism would enjoy seeing the occasional question about Christianity.

The missive above doesn't sound workable to me, but whether you agree or not with that technical assessment, there is still one incontrovertible problem: Users seeking answers to their deepest "expert" questions on Judaism (or Christianity) are not going to show up on a generic "religion" forum — And site is not much good to a group of users if they will not show up.

  • 3
    I do not agree at all. Most of the good answers to any religion question will come from academic study angle. And most of theses religions all come from the same root and you need an extensive knowledge of all of them to answer a question about any one specific one. I really doubt there will be any major community members whose knowledge would not encompass many questions in every religion (even if they have a specialty).
    – Jonathon
    Aug 6, 2015 at 14:22
  • 7
    @Wisnoskij Read my last paragraph again. Four years after I wrote that, if you spent any time on a site like Mi Yodeya, you'd likely see that a community like that would not likely coalesce like they have on a generic "all religions" site. There is a lot of passion and motivation that goes into what they do. Yes, areas of knowledge do not exist in a vacuum... but if you don't look at the community-building aspect of this (those motivated to build this site), you missed the point of my post entirely. Aug 6, 2015 at 14:34
  • 2
    I see what you mean, but I still don't necessarily agree. Assuming theses are sites offering expert opinions, they will already be filled with academic oriented people, not some stereotypically close minded bigot.That is really more of a American thing, and they do not even read the Bible anyways, so I do not see how they could even try to offer a expert opinion on any type of question. The entire SE universe is orientated away for opinion based pieces anyways.
    – Jonathon
    Aug 6, 2015 at 18:48
  • 1
    And as for community building, communities often form even just over individual tags, the Jews who are only interested in Jewish stuff would just subscribe to the Jew tag, like how I have no idea what kind of VB questions are asked in StackOverflow. And again, that is sort of an American thing, many cultures view other religions as just as holy and special as their own, and are very much interested in the overlap. To some (a huge number of people) an answer from any faith would be just as valid as any other. just like some SO questions. And just like SO, some questions are religion specific.
    – Jonathon
    Aug 6, 2015 at 18:52
  • 1
    And I think you are underestimating the dogma and divisiveness of programming languages. Trying to keep the community free from infighting over the C vs Java debate is no easy task. PS: I personally think there is a good chance that those 4 questions are all true. Except of course we are not talking about subsuming, but merging into a new site "religion"
    – Jonathon
    Aug 6, 2015 at 18:54
  • 1
    And just because a All Religion site existed, I do not think that would preclude "Mi Yodeya". Mi Yodeya has a very specific purpose, and there is a significant population that needs help with that. Which is sort of the exact opposite of the Christianity site. Christians are a hugely diverse group with hugely diverse teachings. And they do not really get along in general. So if we are not going to have a site for every sect, we might as well have a All Religion site.
    – Jonathon
    Aug 6, 2015 at 19:05
  • Let's be honest: anyone looking for someone to weigh in on their deeply-held religious beliefs is not really going to find good answers at any of the religion sites. At least, that's my take based on seeing questions, answers, and meta discussion at Christianity, Mi Yodeya, and BH. There's scholarly discussion, some devout, some not, but it's explicitly out of any of those sites' scopes to try to actually pin down correct doctrine; instead, they merely explain the different viewpoints. I don't see why merging them would pose any problems from that perspective. Jan 24, 2016 at 4:01
  • That's so wrong to say that almost all questions about Christianity is about Jewish. Maybe it's a protestant perspective that Jewish = Christians and Christinas = Jewish, and that's only one religion, but it's certainly not a catholic view. Don't confuse protestantism and christianity!!! Even if the text, the Bible, is shared, the interpretations of the text is different, and that's the cause there's not only a religion.
    – Quidam
    Oct 31, 2018 at 22:54

Because the same question has a different right answer depending on your religion.

  • Fair enough, I suppose.
    – Jane Panda
    Nov 10, 2011 at 14:29
  • 5
    Although, the same can be said for software methodologies... waterfall vs agile, unit vs integration test, top-down vs bottom-up
    – Phil Lello
    Nov 10, 2011 at 23:35
  • @PhilLello, yet but most programmer often use more then one of them so there is a big overlap of experts Nov 11, 2011 at 10:21
  • I really doubt that there are any religion experts that do not have not done extensive studying of other religions. How could you ever hope to even understand Christianity without studying Judaism and Islam (if not all the others as well)? In fact, you can be an expert in just one programming language, but I would say it is literally impossible to be an expert in Christianity (as one random example) without extensive knowledge of a dozen other religions.
    – Jonathon
    Aug 6, 2015 at 14:25
  • 3
    None of the sites I've looked into (Christianity, Mi Yodeya, BibHerm) accept attempts at giving a single religious "right answer"; they only accept answers that give the answer according to at least some sects or schools of thought. So this is already not possible even with them split as at present. Jan 24, 2016 at 4:03
  • Technically, it would be a different canonical answer. We get to find out which one was right after we die. Jan 24, 2016 at 6:03
  • 1
    Here's a related reference from christianity.SE which is often cited there: We can't handle the truth
    – tniles
    Jun 2, 2016 at 18:29

I am a long-time user and moderator on Mi Yodeya. I've observed the Christianity site (and even asked a few questions). And I was, for a time, a top user on Biblical Hermeneutics, which tried to be diverse, before ultimately leaving the site due to differences over handling doctrine. With that as background:

Robert's answer is right. And I wouldn't be writing this at all except that I think some may have dismissed his answer as being "from the outside" (he's not a heavy participant in the religion sites), so I'm here to tell you as an insider that he's right. A Stack Exchange site is not just a collection of tagged content; to be successful a site requires a community. And in order to have a community there need to be both enough commonalities and few-enough major differences. An "all religions" site will not achieve either of these goals.

You might think that all religions -- or even the smaller space of all Abrahamic religions -- have enough in common to form a community. But that commonality is, basically, a shared text (for the Abrahamic religions only) that is only a part of each of those religions. And there are some important differences in where each religion goes with that foundation, differences that fundamentally affect how questions are asked and what kinds of answers are acceptable:

  • Judaism has the Hebrew bible, the oral law, law codes, lots of rabbinic commentary, and interpretations built on all of that.

  • Christianity has its own scriptures and modifies or reinterprets the Hebrew bible in light of them. Some of its denominations have laws and formal statements of doctrine, which aren't even common across all of Christianity, let alone other religions.

  • Islam has the Qur'an, which (if I understand correctly) incorporates altered forms of parts of the Hebrew and Christian bibles. (Islam does not accept all of those bibles as scripture.) Islam has a system of laws (hadith), and different communities with different doctrine and laws.

What do you think is going to happen if somebody asks, on Religion.SE, what some passage from the Hebrew bible means or how to correctly observe the sabbath?

You could try to constrain questions and police answers -- take the approach used on Christianity.SE to require denomination-specific questions and bump it up a notch. I think it works for them because they share a foundation -- the concept of a community of Christians is meaningful. But I don't think it works if you bump it up a level; a community of people doing Q&A about religion isn't cohesive like that.

Ok, you might think, so we don't have a coherent community -- why not still have a single site? Because when things go wrong, they go badly wrong. If you try to bring Jews and Christians and Muslims and maybe other religions together to talk about what they have in common, there won't be a lot. So they'll talk about their differences. You'll get Christian-flavored answers on questions about the Hebrew bible, Muslim-flavored answers on questions about the gospels, people arguing about those answers in comments and chat and meta, and it makes for an unpleasant environment all around. Minorities get marginalized, people from evangelical strains feel compelled to proselytize, people get tired of all the irrelevant-to-them content driving down the signal-to-noise ratio, and some people get driven out.

There are enough challenges managing diversity within each of these communities -- because, hey, Judaism or Christianity or Islam isn't homogeneous either. Stack Exchange -- and maybe the Internet -- is not ready for a serious all-religions Q&A site.

The community is not there. The differences are too great. And the subject matter is deeply personal. Questions about God, salvation, the bible, ethics and right living, and proper observance of the law are fundamentally important to the people asking and answering them, in a way that even disputes about programming languages or operating systems cannot come close to.

I realize that this question is old and as a practical matter, the existing sites are not going to be altered now. SE doesn't yank the carpet out from under graduated sites. I found my way here from a currently-active related question.

  • I have to admit I have some trouble with this, since Christianity itself is sufficiently divided that there's a fair amount of proselytizing back and forth between the major groups, and e.g. RCC does not consider Eastern Orthodox or Protestants part of the Church, and each of those returns the favor. And while I know less about the Sunni/Shia division, I understand it's fairly significant as well. So the reasoning would seem to extend further down than you've taken it. Jan 24, 2016 at 7:25
  • On the other hand, I basically gave up on Christianity.SE because it appeared to be a fairly sterile place for discussing, not truth, but specific accounts of what particular denominations might officially consider truth… which tends to work much better with denominations that have more official statements, and is a little too much circumlocution to seem legitimately useful to me for, y'know, doctrine. So perhaps you're right on these problems dominating, if they are already straining the conglomerations SE has at present. Jan 24, 2016 at 7:28
  • @Nathan, what you describe in your second comment is the antedote for what you describe in the first. You can't seek Truth in a diverse community. BH failed for me because they couldn't rein in the truth claims, making it a bad place for those who don't agree with the dominant group. Jan 24, 2016 at 16:31
  • You can't seek Truth in a community of those who don't agree on the basics, no, but it's clear that the existing sites already cannot (generally) agree on the basics. So while it might reasonably be desirable (if not possible) to split them up even further than they are, or merge them all together, the current situation is not really one that is defensible in principle, I think. Jan 24, 2016 at 19:29
  • 1
    @NathanTuggy I encourage you to look more closely at Mi Yodeya. We do a pretty good job of treating core truths as truths without getting academic about it. We also have a strong tradition of citing sources & giving credit to those who taught us, so even if nobody expects people to source core claims, you might find it happening anyway. But an important difference between the Jewish community and the various Christian and Muslim communities is that we don't seek to convert others. When people do, Truth claims are more problematic. Evangelists won't quality truth claims; they see it as weak. Jan 24, 2016 at 19:40
  • as a non-observant Jew, I would like to a site that discusses Judaism but is not for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more." This means that Reform Jews and Secular Jews are second-class citizens on the site. A "true" JudaismSE would be structured like ChristianSE... not a "Jewish site" per se, but a site to discuss Judaism in all its varieties. Sep 12, 2022 at 15:19

I don't have a problem with religion.se because people would disagree, but because the topic would be too big.

How it could work...

One of the reasons that christianity.se works is because it isn't really for Christians, but a site about Christianity. At least, that's what I had in mind when I proposed it, and that was what we agreed when the site was initially established. The difference is subtle but profound. As a Christian, you might ask what teachings are actually true... but that isn't a question that would be accepted on christianity.se. However, anyone can ask what Anglicans (for example) believe is true. So, questions like that are welcomed. Of course, the people who ask most questions about Christianity are Christians, and the people who are best placed to answer questions about Anglicanism are Anglicans, but you don't actually have to be, and that's the point. To put it another way, Christianity (the faith) is about Jesus, but christianity.se is about Christians; in Christianity (the faith) the community is usually some kind of church, whereas christianity.se is more like a university department.

In principle, I don't see why the same approach wouldn't work for religion.se. As long as the core community is prepared to play by the rules, then I think it could work.

(A disclaimer: my views are based on the situation when christianity.se was launched. For various reasons (not all good) I haven't participated in the site very much since then. I say this because I don't want to give an impression of how the site operates now - I simply don't know - but of how it could operate, and by analogy to suggest how a religion.se site might work.)

On the other hand...

For a site to work well, the scope needs to be right. If it's too big, then it doesn't attract experts, and it becomes mes unmanageable. Too small, and the appeal is too limited. I think that it was Jeff Atwood who suggested that topics should be about the size that would get their own university department. So, religion.se could work... but it might also be too big. And if it is, the merge would destroy what works,and that would be a shame.

One more thing...

The exception to this is the hermeneutics site. When it was set up, there was talk of merging it with christianity.se. I was in favour of that proposal, until someone pointed out that it would attract Jewish and Muslim perspectives, and that would be a good thing. Personally, I found that point of view persuasive, and in that basis I supported the proposal for a separate site.

I gather, however, that things have turned out somewhat differently, and that non-Christians have been made unwelcome. As someone who was around at the proposal stage of both sites, that makes me sad; and as a Christian, that makes me feel ashamed. We're not supposed to act that way, and I am truly sorry for any hurt that has been caused.


Note: this is my first post here. If it's off topic could moderators let me know? Maybe I should make a new question rather than posting this here? The first paragraph does answer the question. The rest of the answer goes beyond it.

Biblical hermeneutics is an academic discipline that is specific to Bible interpretation -- much more narrow than either Judaism or Christianity, which encompass not only biblical studies but the whole range of Jewish and Christian culture, including current events. Judaism and Christianity need to be separated because they are two different religions. To insist otherwise begs the question: why not eliminate those two and have one "Abrahamic-religious" SE that includes Islam. Hopefully this makes my point rather than undermining it ;-)

The trouble with the current configuration is that one of the sites is for specifically religious people but the others are more broad.

Biblical Hermeneutics

is a question and answer site for understanding Biblical text (exegesis) using rules of interpretation (hermeneutics). We welcome Jewish, Christian, Atheist, and other viewpoints, as long as they take seriously the process of understanding Biblical texts.

Christianity - Stack Exchange

is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more.

Mi Yodeya

is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more.

So Biblical Hermeneutics welcomes all comers who have enough expertise. ChristianitySE is for committed Christians AND experts who are not necessarily Christians. But My Yodiya is mainly for for "those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition" while others can join if they want to learn more about Observant Judaism. This means than Reform Jews and secular Jews have to look elsewhere, and non-Jews are not invited to share their expertise in Jewish studies.

Perhaps we need a broader JudaismSE in addition to My Yodiya, which would be more open to the community, both Jewish and non-Jewish, at large?


I like the 'philosophy of religion' tag, in the Philosophy SE, that @SOFe mentioned. But I still think there should be a 'comparative religion' SE, for academics if no one else. Theirs is definitely a community.

[How many religion SEs are there, anyway? I didn't find New Age or Druidism in the list, for example. I found Judaism by accident.]

  • 3
    This is not the appropriate venue to propose a new site. Area51 is for just that.
    – Servy
    Jun 13, 2019 at 21:35
  • 1
    @Servy 1. Is Area51 mentioned on the homepage? I learned about it only after I replied. 2. You didn't comment on my idea about comparative religion or answer my question about the number of religion SEs. 3. I'm new. Don't make it easy for me to leave. 4. Why doesn't the Judaism SE mention religion in its description?! I shouldn't have to search for it explicitly.
    – user551535
    Jun 15, 2019 at 17:59
  • 1
    My apologies to whoever runs the Judaism SE. I looked through the descriptions for all the 'religion' SEs; the only one that mentions 'religion' is Hinduism. The others don't use the word at all. This needs to change for the sake of user clarity.
    – user551535
    Jun 15, 2019 at 19:47
  • 1
    It's fine that you didn't know where you should be proposing a new site. Now you know. I haven't discussed any of your other points because this is not the appropriate venue to do so. Post on Area51 if you want to see a new religion site created. There others who are interested in discussing the merits of such a site will respond to the idea.
    – Servy
    Jun 15, 2019 at 23:48

I disagree with the above answers. I do believe it would be beneficial to have a single site for religion.

We have a site for programming (stackoverflow) and the then there are tags for C#, PHP, Java and so on; so why not have one for religion.

Let's say I want to ask this question:

Are we allowed to have sex before marriage?

Now whether that is a good question or not is beyond the argument here (it's just an example). I would like to tag my question with Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism because I would like to get an answer in regards to each religion. Why am I forced to post the question on 4 sites? Actually what if I wanted an answer from 50 religions, I would have to post it 50 times?

  • 2
    How would you accept the correct answer? Also note that there are not many, if at all, questions on SO that are tagged C#, PHP, Java, mostly because such questions are probably too broad.
    – rene
    Jun 25, 2017 at 19:09
  • 1
    @rene (1) I would accept the answer that states what each religion says about sex before marriage. If there is an answer that only answers what Islam says and it is a good answer, I would upvote it but not accept it as the correct answer. (2) Are you saying stackoverflow should not have been a single site then? First question is a good one by the way. Jun 25, 2017 at 19:33
  • 3
    I'd just like to say that I, from a religious perspective, would not be willing to touch such a site with a ten foot pole, for all the reasons in the above posts. And I would deeply pity the poor people who would attempt to moderate such a site (from a moderator perspective). If you want to ask a question about what each religion says about something... ask on all! You'll get the experts from each religion to answer your questions from the perspective of their religion.
    – Mithical
    Jun 25, 2017 at 19:41
  • 1
    Additionally, yes, Stack Overflow (not stackoverflow) is too broad, IMO. Which causes problems.
    – Mithical
    Jun 25, 2017 at 19:44
  • 4
    @CodingYoshi mixed religions can get along so long as the discourse stays within certain bright red lines. However, many adherents are fundamentally unwilling to do that; they feel they have a religious obligation to convert others or proclaim "the truth", that qualifying their language is a sign of weakness and shame, and that NPOV is evil. Christians on BH said all that & got it to stick (super-majority + all the diamonds), which is why Jews left. They're fundamentally incompatible unless you agree not to talk about Jesus's status - good luck with that. That's just 2; now add more. Jun 25, 2017 at 21:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .