1556-1605: Akbar the Great

Akbar hosts an assembly with priests of different religions at his House of Faiths in Fatehpur Sikri, illustration from Akbarnama, Nar Singh, ca. 1605


The Mughal Emperor Akbar is famous for his religious tolerance: He abolishes the Jizya tax on non-Muslims, allows forced converts to re-convert and invites priests of different faiths to discuss their religious believes. He even schools the Persian Shah ‘Abbas and the Spanish king Philip II on the values of tolerance.


‘Formerly I persecuted men into conformity with my faith and deemed it to be Islam. As I grew in knowledge, I was overwhelmed with shame.’
– Akbar the Great