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'its Not Like That In Europe...'

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Avandris

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I find myself increasingly frustrated by the sentiment that living in Europe makes 'coming out' as an atheist easy, that I should consider myself lucky to be in a country that is so accepting of the atheistic position.

 

While I would agree that, in comparison to the United States, Christianity is not so all prevailing here. It is more acceptable to be an atheist, but that does not mean there are not communities here that are as fundamentalist and imposing as those in the US. I find myself surrounded by Christianity, my entire family are Christians, my small social circle consists almost completely of Christians, my life has been saturated in Christian doctrine and I have made decisions and lived my life in the light of all of this.

 

So I don't feel so lucky right now. I find myself sitting and reading critiques of Christianity in secret, minimising windows and turning off my kindle should anyone come within the slightest chance of seeing what I am reading. I suppose I'm 'fortunate' that my current mental health allows for some understanding in my difficulty at getting out of the house, but I still make excuses for not going to church.

 

I feel entirely alone in this, I've lost my compass, lost my direction. The world seems strange and alien to me, cruel and vast and empty. I'm sure some of this could be attributed to my depression, but the longer I go through this process, the more I read, the more I battle with this internally and privately the more I realise how deep and tight a hold Christianity had on my entire life.

 

I'm terrified of the moment when I finally come to a decision, fearful of the reaction my family will have if and when I ever tell them what I'm thinking.

 

Perhaps when this is all over, I'll be more grateful for the different culture, but for now I don't feel so lucky.

 

 

Apologies for the little rant, it has just been bothering me.

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I totally hear you.  NZ is like Europe, in that as a whole it is less xian-dominated than the US.  I too exist in a xian enclave within my country.  Deconversion can be a hard process.  You are doing great, keep posting here, we are happy to offer support and a listening ear.  I have depression too.  Keep seeking professional help with it.  Hugs, FTNZ.

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I suspect the big difference is probably in relation to the effect of one's atheism or at least lack of Christianity professionally.  With few exceptions (you are a priest, or a teacher in a "faith" school, for instance), I can think of no particular situation here where I would likely feel afraid for my job for not being a Christian, but I've heard various Americans describe such issues.

 

Beyond that, it depends on the people around you.  And as Christians tend to flock together, the deconverts are likely to have such problems.

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Avandris,

It is good that you are expressing your frustrations about what you're going through. I think you are doing great. Please keep reaching out here for support and encouragement. I feel depressed sometimes, and it is for some of the same reasons you mention (social, creating a new self identity). So, I understand some of what you are going through. Check you messages. I will send you a PM soon.

Peace,

Human

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