What does it take, do you think, for a person to leave a religion into which they may have been born and to join a different one, especially one that is very different from that of the prevailing culture?
Usually the reason for a religious conversion is uncomfortable feelings into an own religious system; moving to a county of another religion; disappointment in faith; converting to a more “popular” or “prestigious” religion; personal relationship with a person of another religion, etc. This is accompanied by a radical reassessment of the faith and values which were its object. For example, a person begins to question the religious explanation of reality. Same Buddhism strongly attracts the modern world precisely because it is reasonable and scientifically based. Buddha said, "Do not take for granted anything I say just out of respect for me, but test it yourself, explore, as if you were buying gold." (“The Berzin Archives”). The man looks up and realizes that this approach is closer to him than the dogmatic principle of the text of Scripture, which is based on the majority of the world's religions. In this case, the religious conversion relates to the self-identity issue.
As every religion condemns the conversion through the strict norms, defined in the Scripture, in most cases, a person who changed the religion is no more able to feel comfortable within the environment he/she lived or continues living in. The Bible says that “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16 : 16), and “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them” (John 3 : 36) (“The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books”). The Catholic Church considers such a person as an apostate, which is even compared to the heretics and schismatics. So this person will unavoidably face a lot of hard difficulties, such as condemnation, loss of friends, loneliness, persecutions, etc.
Religion is a very strong form of social realm. Each person has his own religion, based on his soul, character and traditions. History proves that people even can murder somebody to protect their religious beliefs. Therefore, the religious conversion means abandonment of those authentic values, developed in childhood and youth, and transformation of the world outlook, which define the one's life meaning. The traditionalist approach to religion sees it as an innate reality, the human being possesses, the same as nationality, race, parents, name, etc., all of that a man does not choose.
"The Berzin Archives." The Appeal of Buddhism in the Modern World. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/introduction/appeal_buddhism_modern_world.html>.
The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books : New Revised Standard Version. New York: Oxford UP, 1989. Print.