Historically, religions have sometimes used force to compel people to accept their teachings and to punish those who did not. This has been an issue with Catholicism, with its heretic-burnings and inquisitions, and has sometimes happened in Protestant communities. Luther, though, opposed coercion and punishment in matters of faith. Today, most Christians–Catholics and Protestants–are strong advocates for religious freedom.
Governments too have often tried to use force to make their citizens accept an ideology and to punish them when they do not. Communist, Fascist, and other totalitarian regimes prosecute “thought crimes.” Free countries, though, do not. They might, in the name of social order, punish actions, but never thoughts.