An inner peace

By Audrey SomnardLex KlerenAnouk Flesch Switch to French for original article

Although religion is traditionally learned within the family, faith can strike at any age. As adults, they have decided to embrace a new religion. A decision that is above all personal, sometimes out of love, but always thoughtful and peaceful. Here are their stories.

Faith is above all a personal story, but the practice of religion is very often coming from the family. In the great monotheistic religions, religion is "transmitted", with rites of passage, such as baptism, bar·bat mitzvah etc. Very young children who are not asked their opinion. For some, encounters and deep reflection lead them to embrace traditions and prayers that were previously unknown to them. Fast or complicated, structured or not, religious conversion involves different stages, more or less long, more or less full of pitfalls. It is not always easy to go back to school to learn about rites and traditions that were not instilled during childhood. Etienne, Léo, Claudine, Mariana, Mathieu* and Anouar* (names have been changed at the request of the people) tell us about their inner journey and the peace they have made with themselves since they converted.

Sometimes it is love that guides these new believers. Etienne grew up in France in a Catholic family, "but not a practising one", private events meant that he was not baptised as a child. Growing up in Alsace-Moselle, where religion classes are offered as part of the school curriculum, Etienne was the only one, along with one other classmate, not to take these classes at school. "Only the religious holidays were respected, it was an opportunity for family reunions, but without the religious aspect." At the age of 40, Etienne finally found true love. He married his partner in a civil ceremony, but the religious ceremony was essential for her: "It was important for her to get married, for the in-laws, a wedding is in a church."

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