Proponents of confessionalism cite it as an effective way to secure the peaceful co-existence of diverse religious and ethnic communities by empowering each according to its "weight" in the region. However, critics point out that such a system may actually deepen conflict between ethnic groups. They argue that whichever group holds the most political power may use government to favor itself at the expense of other groups, or even to oppress rival groups. Also, as demographics change, the positions and power held by a particular group may no longer appropriately reflect the size of that group.
Debate over confessionalism raises similar issues to those facing consociationalism, of which confessionalism is one kind.