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Religious nuancePlay
Used for someone outside major religions, often from a dominant religion's view. SlideThe villagers called the foreign traders heathens.
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Potential offensePlay
Can be derogatory or offensive if used to single out different beliefs. SlideCalling his beliefs heathen hurt his feelings.
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Historical contextPlay
Once common to justify colonization or conversion efforts. SlideExplorers labeled the indigenous peoples heathens to convert them.