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Keeping religion alive for the young

Created date

June 19th, 2012

I once produced a documentary entitled No Missing Link. The subject was how grandparents, and grandmothers in particular, kept the flame of religion burning in the Soviet Union under communism. It didn t matter the religion, once communism had faded away, religion bloomed because the grandparents never wavered in their faith and so were able to transmit their beliefs to the younger generations, most of whom had not been raised with any religious training. Today, many young people have decided that faith is not important enough to remain active members of a faith group. And while it s true that one can pray on one s own and live according to the general tenets of a moral life, it s equally true that it s harder to do so without the encouragement of other like-minded individuals to support you. As I view the world today, one of the main obstacles to practicing a religion seems to be all the distractions at the disposal of young people. They seem to need to be in contact with their friends every minute of the day, which leaves them no time for going to a religious service or even silent prayer.

Share your beliefs

So what can a grandparent or great-grandparent do to alter this situation? The first order of business is to speak up. Undoubtedly, religion has played an important role in your life, but do your grandchildren understand that? Explain to them why you believe and what you get out of it. Your message shouldn t be, You need to attend a religious service, but rather let them see for themselves why religion has been so important to you. Of course, you also have to set a good example. If you rarely attend religious services, the odds are your words won t have much effect. On the other hand, make a point of asking the young people in your life to help you get to a service so that they re forced into going themselves. Maybe then they ll see the light.