The Plague, like many works in a similar philosophical vein, treats religion at best with indifference and at worst with contempt. Religion seeks to explain the world’s suffering and rationalize it, whereas Camus is of the camp that the suffering can’t be justified and is in fact entirely irrational. Religion seems to promote passivity and apathy, which are in contrast to the humanist notion of taking up arms against the suffering of the world.
Though their systems of beliefs differ, Rieux and Paneloux are the most similar characters in The Plague.
Religion is the most destructive force in The Plague.