Religion and Its Effects on Children

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Children are free spirits sensitive to many outside influences, especially religious influence. Religions have begun to strengthen their child involvement; this is why they have begun placing more emphasis on children ministries. If religion is a major part of a child’s life, it will shape who a child becomes and how the child is raised. Religion directly affects how a child grows up and how they perceive people and situations in their life after their childhood. In order to understand how religion affects a child, it is important to view the various situations through a variety of religious perspectives and approaches. As suggested by Don Browning, in Children and Childhood in American Religions, “A careful investigation of religions in a comparative analysis can significantly advance contemporary attitudes toward children and provide a richer basis for concerted public action on their behalf” (12-13). In Salvation, a short story by Langston Hughes, he depicts how religion affected his entire life. Hughes describes his aunts’ church during their revival, along with how the entire congregation “rocked with prayer and song” however, he still “kept waiting to see Jesus” (Hughes). Hughes never did see Jesus, but he got up and went to the altar anyway. He felt the pressure of an entire congregation and as a child; he felt he had no other choice than to pretend. The congregation inadvertently pressured Hughes into joining the church. Peter Pufall, in the book Rethinking Childhood, stated, “Throughout history religions have looked to children for the survival of both the community of faith and the faith itself” (57). In Hughes’s case, the overwhelming power of the church and the fear of going to the alter affected the rest of his life,... ... middle of paper ... ...ive the proper guidance to their children, so they can become well-rounded individuals in religion, if they choose, and in society. Works Cited Browning, Don S., Bonnie J Miller-McLemore, and Inc NetLibrary. Children and Childhood in American Religions. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2009. Hughes, Langston. "Salvation." Free Inquiry 1999: 47. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 15 Apr. 2011 . Klein, M. Diane., Deborah Chen, and Inc NetLibrary. Working With Children From Culturally Diverse Backgrounds. Albany, NY: Delmar Thomson Learning, 2001. Pufall, Peter B., Richard P Unsworth, and Inc NetLibrary. Rethinking Childhood. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2004. Stearns, Peter N., and Inc NetLibrary. Childhood in World History. New York ; London: Routledge, 2006.
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