How Do I Tell My Parents I Want To Change My Religion?

It's not for everybody...

Hi Heather,

So I’ve been thinking really, really long and hard about my religion. I was raised a Catholic and most of my family (including my aunts, uncles, and cousins, even second cousins) are Roman Catholic as well. My parents are super religious and they thoroughly believe in God.

I’ve thought about it for 2-3 years and I’ve decided that Catholicism isn’t for me. I just don’t feel comfortable being Catholic.  I just don’t believe in God. Not to be offensive in any way, but I don’t think there’s a point to religion. And I’m planning to tell my parents soon, but I’m scared to. I’m scared of how they’ll react or if they’ll get mad. And I don’t know exactly how to tell them. I’m making a point to tell them really soon, since I’m supposed to start Confirmation classes. What should I do?

Religion should be a personal choice, not something that you’re forced into. This might be a difficult thing to tell your family, but if you know that this isn’t the right religion for you, then it’s important that you stay true to your beliefs. I’m glad you realize you need to be honest with your parents. It probably won’t be easy to talk about, but it’s the right thing to do.

The best thing is to just be completely straight up with your mom and dad. Tell them how long you’ve been thinking about this, and explain that you just don’t feel right practicing this religion anymore. Explain exactly how you feel and how passionate you are about it. Let them know you’re not trying to hurt them at all, it’s just something you feel you need to do for yourself.

Your parents reaction might be a little scary — just make sure you stay calm and controlled no matter what. That helps to show them that you’re mature enough to make this decision on your own. Stick by your beliefs. Just because Cath0licism is something your whole family practices doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you for not wanting to be a part of it.

WDYT, gURLs? Have you ever decided to change your religion? Do you and your family disagree on faith? Give us your advice and discuss below!

take care,

What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at

Posted in: Being Different, Family, Help Me Heather, Help&Advice, Sucky Emotions
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  • Frankie fook

    Hi everyone,I’m a buddhist here,I actually want to change my religion into Christian but it seems like my family seems to be really abhor of it.I really want to ask my mom if I I really can change my religion into Christian but….I’m afraid they my mom would be disagree with my opinion and madt at me….what should I do,can someone give me some advises to overcome my problem?

  • Jodie Cooper

    I can relate — I have been doing some hard thinking, and after much discussion, I finally was able to tell my family that I was a Baptist, rather than simply Christian like the rest of my family — I was even Baptized in a Christian church, rather than an Independent Baptist one. I just found myself agreeing with a lot of the things the Baptist church said, and I told my mom what my beliefs were. She took it really well, actually, and we get along better than we have in past years. I’m really glad that I was able to get this across, and I’m lucky to go to a school where any and all religions are welcome, so they won’t really care, and it’s my choice whether to tell my friends or not.

  • Dusty

    I can really relate. My parents have been getting me to go to confirmation classes and it’s getting really awkward being there and not actually believing a single thing that I see I the videos. But I think I’m going to finish the classes, and I I still don’t have a reason to believe by the end, I’ll back out. I have an understanding family and I hope they’ll be okay with the fact that I just don’t see a point or a reason to any religion. Maybe it’ll help I’m Episcopalian, and they’re fairly laid back about this.

  • Lilly

    I am a catholic and believe very stongly in Catholicism, Ijust feel like it’s right for me, I feel like some people have all these stereotypes about catholics, that we are racist, anti-gay and a bunch of other things, but in reality most of us are none of that is true, there is even a gay man who goes to my CATHOLIC church!I respect all other religions and believe that you can make your own choices in life.

  • asenath

    I come from a semi-religious southern family, that is all Christian. My dad has mixed thoughts on religion and my sister recently went from atheist back to Christian. I’m not here to bash on other religions, by the way. To each their own. What you chose to believe, is what you chose to believe. Just getting that cleared up. When my granddad died, my family stopped going to church. During this time, I questioned the existence of God, and I looked into other religions. I finally settled on one that has the same thoughts I do: Buddhism. I am Zen Buddhist and Tibetan Buddhist. I still have not told my parents so I practice in quiet, which is rather easy, to be honest. In Buddhism , we are taught that out of compassion we should help other people to reach enlightenment as we have, but being in a Christian family, I can’t exactly go out and help people as a Buddhist. Sometimes it is hard to be in a Christian household because they scorn other religions. I think that a majority of the people raised in Christian households are too scared to think of other religions. They’re taught that if you’re another religion, and you die, there will be terrible consequences (going to hell). But if you are Christian, you die, and you were wrong, then you’re just wrong. Another topic that is kinda taboo in Christianity: gays. In the bible it says that if a man lays with another man as he would a woman, they are both abominations and should be put to death, with their blood on their hands. In Buddhism, we label it as sexual misconduct, and thats it. To be honest, I am a terrible Buddhist. My language slips sometimes, and a lot of the time, I really want to punch people in the face, but I’m working on it.

  • C.C.

    My family’s religious situation is really strange; my mom’s parents are non-practicing Jewish and Protestant, and my dad’s side of the family has a philosophy that’s very similar to Quaker beliefs. It’s a family thing, and I think my brother and I are the only ones of our “generation” (in the family) that are part of this. Anyway, I went to a Quaker elementary school, and I would really like to start going to Meeting and join the Society of Friends, but I don’t really know if/when/how to talk to my parents about it. I really respect the beliefs of Quakers and think that it’s the best option for me. . .any advice? I suppose I haven’t been very specific about the existing beliefs, but like I said, it’s a family thing. . .

  • Nuzhat

    I used to be Muslim, and now I’m Christian. My parents are aware that I’ve left Islam (but they don’t know I’m Christian), and they can’t stand it. I want to tell my them but I don’t know how. 🙁

    • Wanda Alhassane

      Why did you change from Islam to Christianity? How do you feel since you changed your religion?

  • lizzythekpopper

    I’m going through the exact same problem, my family is Catholic (though not very religious, we didn’t even go to Mass on Christmas. Not that I mind anyway!) and all my friends at my old school were Atheist, whereas I was the only Catholic in the group, but thinking about the reasons they were Atheist, I actually agreed with them and decided I was Atheist too (plus I absolutely hate Religion anyway, and hardly knew anything about my own religion).
    I’m really afraid to tell my parents, though. And now I go to a school where most kids are religious, so if I tell anyone at school, i’ll get questioned for it (especially by a friend of mine, who argues with me every time religion is brought up). I plan to tell my parents, but I don’t know when I will…

  • mzeco

    I was Catholic when I was six, and when I was old enough to really think for myself, I settled on my own beliefs. Just so happens I live in a hugely crazy neighborhood, and I’ve been putting up with a lot of crap for not being Christian, and, in one case, for being vegetarian. Also, some people beat up our mailbox when we put out our Obama sign.

  • Katherine

    @mary: ikr! my whole family is methodist and my dad was a pastor, but i dont want to be cofined in a religon! i just want to be me, and i dont see me being fitted into the box that we call ‘religon’!

  • Mary

    I know how you feel. My family is Methodist, and they don’t seem really religious, but they call me a heathen jokingly whenever I say I don’t want to go to church and the do religious things every now and then. I don’t fell I can tell them. Even worse, my best friend in the whole world is really religious and though I’m sure it would only make things a bit awkward at first for us, I’d be worried about her parents “breaking us up” for good. I’ve just decided to keep it to myself for now. It’s not a huge factor in my life now, so I’ll just stay quiet.

  • AnnaMarie

    I come from a family of very mixed religions, and I was always told to just believe in what I thought was right. My Roman Catholic cousins, my Atheist brother, my Agnostic mother, Baptist father, Pagan aunt and cousin, Protestant grandmother, and Jewish cousins were all pretty okay with me dabbling in each religion before settling on being Agnostic.

  • Missfiction

    I just hate it when agnostic and atheism people think that christianity is like… bad or something or unfair or racist or whatever. Im a christian and my sis is agnostic and she keeps on going on and on about how the bible doesnt make sense and christianity is unfair . instead of feeling like im forced into being a christian i choose my own way of believing in God. and there is a point to religion. WHAT DO U THINK IS GUNNA HAPPEN WHEN THE WORLD ENDS?! im sorry but as a christian i believe when we all die the ones that dont believe in the point of religion or God will be very ashamed. very. The majority of christians nowadays are sickening. some people will say they are christians when they go out and get drunk and gets tats and have sex and all that crap! THATS WHY everybody who isnt christians picture us as…… people who dont believe in equalism and dont beleive in pre-marital sex. THATS HOW PEOPLE THINK OF CHRISTIANS NOWADAYS AND IT MAKES ME SICK. there are true christians out there! probably not many but whatever. im so sick of being around people who judge religion. religion , muslim, catholic whatever! religion is suposed to give you a sense of IDENTITY ! it ISNT pointless. A PERSON IS NOTHING WITHOUT a sense of identity. RELIGION is a beautiful thing.

    • Warg

      Christianity is everything you stated, illogical, unfair, biased, hypocritical and misleading. Not to mention very very stupid. It teaches you knowledge is wrong, thinking is wrong, and things done in the name of god is beautiful. Mass killings of First Nations were done in the name of God, Hitler killed Jews in the name of Aryan Christian god. Ultimately, religion is for people who don’t want to think for yourselves. If you have to have a religion to maintain your morals, then you are messed up. Religion is not beautiful, it has killed, and set back our advancement. What’s more stupid is that people think they are right. Religion is bullsh*t and is the the source of many problems in the world.

      • Claire

        Where the f^$# did you get that. Most hyperfundamentalists don’t make sense because they’re to literal, don’t get the context. You should check out christianthinktank. Is God cruel or schizoid really? ! U should really read the whole series. And also the what about those who never heard the gospel? They go into alleged cruelties in old testament, “he’ll”, etc. You also might wanna check out gaychristian. Net Hope this helped, sorry for typos, on my phone.

    • MLC

      I was really religous for a long time. I was also judgemental and ignorant and convinced everyone else was stupid and wrong. Then I actually read the bible and it mae absolutely no sense. It was constantly contriditing itself, and I just didnt feel it was for me anymore. I am now agnostic and I am best fiends with many christians. My entire family is christian. I can tell no one because whenever I have in the past the ones I tell abandon me because I don’t believe what they do. All im trying to say is it’s a two sided street.

    • Tom Holl

      My friend I can tell you (as an ex-christian) that other people have a different belief to you. I spent most of my life believing in Christianity but as soon as I thought and read about paganism my mind and perspective on life changed completely. My friend’s are all christian or atheist and I still respect there views and beliefs even though I don’t agree. Basically the whole point of my post is to say that you should accept others beliefs and views

  • MusicByBlossom

    Hi everyone, I just wanted to put this out there, seeing as nobody has talked about this yet.
    I’m an atheist. I find it irritating that everyone seems to think we’re all racist, and don’t accept religion at all. This is untrue- Atheism isn’t about hating all religion and trying to make everyone feel the same way, it’s about scientific theories and ideas. It’s almost like a religion in itself, we have beliefs and not everybody agrees. Just because I don’t believe in God and do believe in things which make sense to me doesn’t make me a racist, a bad person, or anything like that. You are entitled to have an opinion and be a part of whatever religion you choose, but it was never for me.
    This may sound a bit random, but I just wanted any other Atheist gURLS out there that you don’t have to hide what you believe in because you’re afraid people will think you’re a racist.

  • I Eat Glue Sticks

    I’m agnostic, and I agree. I don’t think religion is right for me. If I try to tell people at school that I am they start going off on me. It sucks how they think they’re alowed to troll MY beliefs.

  • Haleemah

    I’m Muslim too. I like it,and the way we gather together for parties and stuff. I don’t cover my head though.I’m 14 btw. But it’s not compulsry even if your an adult. If you believe in covering it then you can.they aren’t that many Muslims in my school so I can’t really talk to anyone about my religion. Glad to know there are Muslims here too:D

    • Nailah

      Yayyy, #MuslimSolidarity! I gotta say though, while I admit to not always covering my head, it’s important to remember that wearing the headscarf IS part of Islam and being a Muslim. One of the reasons Islam is the fastest growing faith in the world is that people in other religions have gotten so lax about living the laws of their religion that people can’t take them seriously. We can’t let that happen to Islam.

      [Disclaimer: I know I just made a generalization. I mean no offense to any non-Muslim. Just making a point to my little sister about the hijab 🙂 ]

  • Jessica

    Yeah, I had this same feeling about not believing in God and I just talked to my mom about it and it was really easy. She was totally calm about it and told me about how she had the same feelings to at some point in her life. And when we just talked about it, I realized that I really did have this faith that there was a God out there. And I feel better about it. But I can see why you may not feel right with the Catholic religion. There’s so many contradictions.

  • flanby0110

    Well my mom’s side of the family are Muslims, and I still can’t figure out how to tell them I’ve given up Islam more than 2 years ago. As a girl I’m finding it impossible to accept wearing a headscarf, as well as all the other rules regarding women’s freedom. I’m not being forced into being a Muslim, but it is expected from me, so I’m just scared to dissapoint my family, or to be rejected.
    Apologies if I offended anyone, I accept that my way of thinking isn’t everyone else’s.

    • ameliah

      Im in the same position but only started thinking about this two days ago..i kno its a short time but i feel so strong about this. My bro who is one yr olda den me is beeh religious, my dad dnt live wi me n my mom aint religious buh calls herself a muslim……the baddest thing is that one one my close mate is really religious and keeps telling me to say things wen eating or b fr an exam n i dnt kno y i shud wen it kinda dnt mean eni thing to me no more….also my oda friend is becoming religious too so i feel bad n scared if i say summin. There is my third and final friend aint really religious so i cn tell her buh if i tell her she will tell the other two n im worried incase skl finds out as like 70% r muslims and out of that 50% of them r strong believers…ahkk this is my plan ima turn 18 n go to anova country n start there with or wiv out dem.

  • Ahmed

    I don’t know what the hell is going on here, but it seems something wrong in the Christian World, I don’t know what is it cause I’m living in Iraq. My parents didn’t force me about anything, I studied the most 3 famous religions in the world (Christian, Islam and jewish) and I found that (Islam) is the best one (at least for me)….. sorry if I hurt anyone. but this is the truth…

    • Sahra

      Well as a muslim i can tell you , you have made the right choice.
      Make sure to take your Shahada before its too late .
      Im soo happy for another person to convert as islam is the
      fasted growing of this day .
      Mashallah sister ,
      as a young person you may hide it from your parents ,
      & even wear the hijab a little bit late due to the incovinience
      that may start once youve told them , but if they are understanding
      go ahead .

  • Crystal

    Hello gURL.

    I’m in a simalar position. My dad was Church of England and that’s what I was christened. My mum, however, was Catholic and gave me her confirmation dress when I was younger (we got rid of it as I grew out of it) and I really want to get confirmed but I don’t like Church of England. I’m 13 now and I want to get my religion sorted as I’ve had enough of it. I haven’t given much thought on which one I want to change to but I’m desperate to get out of Church of England. No offence meant to anybody who is a COE.