The reality of many societies is that religious persecution HAPPENS! It can be as subtle as family turning their back on you, being ostracised and alienated, to verbal, written and physical attacks – including murder.
As long as we tolerate the practice and the acts of coerced conformity, we as a species will not reach a stage of universal tolerance, global peace and the freedom to be authentic. It will leave the ideal of true moral and ethical living as a fantasy.
We are all responsible for maintaining and propagating this behaviour – whether it is towards those who choose a religion or non-belief.