Religion: it brings people together; it ties us to our past; it encourages us to be kinder and more loving. Right? Well, not in The Jew of Malta. In Marlowe's play, religion is just one more way to make people hate each other. Religion and race are so closely tied that we can't tell if the fight with the Turks is a political battle or a religious battle—or if there's any difference. And take Barabas: do the Maltese Christians hate him because they truly think his religion is wrong, or do they just need someone to blame and steal money from? One thing is sure: by the end of the play, we're not feeling particularly worshipful.
Nobody really adheres to religious principles in this play; they just use religion as a front to get what they want
Barabas chiefly identifies and defines himself through his Jewishness.