Scientists cannot say for sure when the first religious beliefs appeared and it is possible that belief has accompanied human civilization from the very moment of its appearance. The role of faith in society is difficult to overestimate – primitive people needed religion to explain natural phenomena that were incomprehensible to them, and with the development of society, religion became a constraining factor regulating norms and rules of behavior.
Children have always been part of religious rituals and from birth they adopted the beliefs adopted in the family and the region of residence. Today the situation has not changed, and children, just like many centuries ago, receive their first religious upbringing in the family. How does religious education affect a child? Is it good or bad for him?
Religion is traditionally based on family values and strengthens the institution of the family. Perhaps it is difficult to find a religious trend where marriage and family ties would not have the highest praise. This is a positive aspect of religious education – from early childhood, the child learns to value the family highly, receives the correct attitudes and a positive experience of family relations.
The important role of parents, backed up by faith, helps the child feel more confident, allows him to feel protected. The support of the family and the religious community that a child sees from childhood is of great importance in situations where a young person or adolescent finds himself in a difficult situation. In addition, children who grew up in religious families are more likely to participate in volunteer programs and are more willing to help other people.
Upbringing in faith has a positive effect on the health of the child. A healthy lifestyle, giving up alcohol, smoking, using drugs – all this helps the developing consciousness of the child to form the correct attitude towards bad habits. Chastity and discernment in relationships are not only valuable moral qualities, but also effective protection against sexually transmitted diseases, which is also important.
Religion plays a significant role in the issue of instilling cultural values and traditions. For example, for many diasporas, maintaining their faith and regularly attending church becomes almost the only way to keep in touch with their historical roots. Here, children learn their native language at Sunday school, learn the culture and history of their native country, which parents or even grandparents left for some reason.
Among the negative aspects of religious education, one should note the particular cases of severe punishment of children, the maintenance of strict discipline and subordination in some families. Special attention should be paid to the possibility of fostering intolerance towards representatives of other religions, which is characteristic of a number of confessions. Another negative point is the promoted gender inequality, neglect of the role of women, found in some religions.