Judge allows girl's conversion to Christianity
Published 06 August 2012
A young girl in England has been granted permission to change her religion from Judaism to Christianity after a court ruled against her mother's allegations that she had been brainwashed by her father into embracing his faith.
"Sometimes parents simply cannot agree on what is best for their child, but they can't both be right. Your father thinks it is right for you to be baptized as a Christian now. Your mother wants you to wait until you are older, so they have asked me to decide for them. That is my job," Judge John Platt of Romford County Court in Essex explained to the 10-year old girl in a letter, in which the girl was identified as "C".
A Jewish rabbi at the court hearing apparently said that such a change of religion would be "unnatural to the soul", although Judge Platt dismissed such remarks as "inflammatory terms without any supporting evidence".
The situation that brought the incident to court concerned the divorced parents of the girl. The father, who also converted to Christianity from Judaism, wanted his daughter to come to Christ, while the mother wished that she remained true to the Jewish tradition. The little girl, apparently, has expressed a desire to join her father's faith.
The judge clarified that his decision does not mean the girl has to lose her Jewish and roots, and assured her that her parents will continue loving her no matter what faith she decided to walk in.
"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 baptised as a Christian as soon as your minister feels you are ready," Judge Platt said.
The only details about the girl shared by The Daily Mail revealed that the girl was born in 2001, and the divorce between her parents happened in 2010, which prompted the father to turn to Christianity. The girl also has a younger brother, and the parents enjoy shared custody – the children live with each parent one week at a time.
The dispute over religious conversion arose when the father proposed that the 10-year-old girl be baptised into the Christian faith, after he took her to an evangelical Christian festival where he claims she had "experienced an encounter with God".
The Jewish mother strongly opposed his plan and applied for a court order hoping to block it, insisting that her daughter would be old enough at 16 to decide on her own whether she or not she wants to be a Christian.
However, in his ruling Judge Platt argued: "The mother's final objection is that a change of routine will be detrimental to the children. I accept in principle that children thrive better if they have a settled routine in their lives but that ignores that fact that as children grow up changes in their routine are bound to happen.
"This change is the necessary consequence of C's decision to become a Christian. I have no doubt that she will adjust to it without difficulty," he concluded.