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UK: Judge allows Jewish girl, 10, to convert to Christianity

Daughter of divorced Jewish couple petitions Essex court to be baptized after her father converted to Christianity. Judge grants request despite mother's objection

A British judge has granted a 10-year-old girl's request to be baptized a Christian, even though her Jewish mother wants her to wait until she is older, The Times reported.


In the main body of the ruling, Judge John Platt said that both the child’s parents were Jewish. After their divorce in 2010, they agreed a shared parenting arrangement for their two children. The father then converted to Christianity.


A short while later, the daughter decided she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and become a Christian as well. Her mother believes she is too young to make such an important decision in her life and that this should wait until she reached the age of 16.


Rejecting the mother's position, Judge Platt wrote a letter to the girl explaining his ruling.


He said that both her parents want what is best for her and thanked the girl for explaining "so clearly" why she wanted to be baptized.


“My job is to decide simply what is best for you and I have decided that the best thing for you is that you are allowed to start your baptism classes as soon as they can be arranged and that you are baptized as a Christian as soon as your minister feels you are ready," he wrote.


“Being baptized does not mean that you give up your Jewish heritage. That will always be part of you and I hope that you will continue to learn more about that heritage and about your mother’s faith. Even after you are baptized you are still free to change your mind about your faith later when you are older.”


Judge Platt stressed that both the girl's mother and father will carry on loving her regardless of her decision. In his ruling, he noted that the father had no intention of denying his or his children’s Jewish heritage and culture” and accepted that “both his children have been born of a Jewish mother and consequently are and always will be Jewish”.


On the issue of confirmation, the judge said: “In the light of her Jewish heritage, I would consider it appropriate that she should attain a much fuller degree of understanding and greater maturity before being confirmed and I therefore propose that she should not be confirmed before her 16th birthday without the consent of the mother.”




פרסום ראשון: 08.05.12, 08:29
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