The idea of religion and culture raises an interesting question for your main character:
Is my hero or heroine an insider or an outsider, and how will that affect how they react to my plot?
In An Education, David(Peter Sarsgaard) talks about being Jewish and where that places him in his world — as an outsider.
In To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout tells us her father, who is white, is defending a black man, making him a pariah, an outsider.
In Moscow On The Hudson, Robin Williams plays a Russian musician who defects in Bloomingdales, and is forced to adapt to his new culture. He starts as an outsider, and his journey is about finding a way to feel at home in a foreign culture.
Being different can be a metaphor for the degree of belonging your character feels in his or her environment, so when writing, consider this aspect of your character’s identity.