People Wrestling With Faith Now Have a Hotline
If someone of religious background starts to question their faith, where can they turn? What are the options?
They can turn to their religious leader, family members or fiends. Any of those options requires courage. They can also be seen as risky, as sharing your doubts could alter your relationship. It’s no doubt a scary proposition for many.
Now, people have another source to turn to: Recovering From Religion, whose helpline for people struggling with faith may be the first of its kind. Introduced earlier this year, 1-84-I-DOUBT-It has received more than 1,000 calls from people who have serious questions about their religion.
For many people, coming out as an unbeliever leads to alienation and ostracizing by their loved ones. That’s why Recovering From Religion has put together a team of volunteers to take people’s calls about falling away from faith. The hotline is open around the clock on weekends and ffrom six o clock to midnight during the week.
Callers get to be anonymous and their conversations remain confidential. The people on the other end of the line are volunteers, and they are not licensed in therapy or counseling. They follow scripts and their main function is to be good listeners. Their roll is not to lead people to become atheists, either. Sometimes, they may even refer callers to local churches based on their beliefs.
One of the leaders of the effort says that religious questioning in one’s life can lead to serious emotional problems including depression. The hotline was set up as a way to provide an avenue of discussion that people didn’t have before.
Recent research has shown that a lot of people in the U.S., the millennial generation particularly, do not affiliate with a particular religion. While they do not identify as atheist, they still see themselves as not being tied to any one faith.