Does anyone have any advice on how to come out( as an atheist) in a deeply religious family?

I live in a deeply religious family and in our culture family bonds are very strong.


Now that I've become an atheist I often wonder if its a good idea to tell them this and cause problems or just keep mum and pretend I'm still religious? 

 If this is not the place to post this I'm sorry but could you direct me to some relevant posts? 

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I found that my family could just as easily live in denial of my atheism as they can believe in talking snakes.

Did you tell them?

I started challenging their beliefs when I was 8.

I agree.  Saying you don't believe the religion helps them swallow it a lot easier than that you don't believe in any supernatural existence.

@katie jones

  Since I'm already making my own way in life all I'm worried is the emotional trauma my mom and dad would be. They are the sort where its impossible to budge no matter what and who have a deep distrust in science.


Sounds like a good idea. I think I would follow that.   

Apologies for the bad grammar, english is not my native tongue. I read somewhere that the religion you follow is sort of like a projection of your self or something . I cannot really remember the source though. So if I were to say I rejected the religion that my parents brought me up in....wouldn't they take it like some sort of personal insult?

This is going to make visiting them very very awkward. Ah well I think ultimately its still up to me right? ; ( crap....


I remember a lot of stressful holidays but I eventually told them that everyone has to find there own way though this life, to make their own journey. Actually I had more problems with siblings who seem to have less compulsion to maintain the peace.


Delaying the inevitable is rarely good.  It probably won't be a joyous event no matter how they find out - and they will find out.  It may be better for you to choose when and how this happens.  Write down your thoughts.  Prepare yourself for their objections.  You'll get through it.  I wish I had a community like Think Atheist and the foresight to realize this back when my family was made aware of my lack of belief.  My family did not take the news well at all, but with time they remembered that they love me no matter what.  I'm now comfortable in my own skin when I'm home with them, and to me that's the most important thing.  A lot of good has come from honesty in my family.  Years later, when I moved in with my boyfriend, there was no fuss or drama, just acceptance.  I doubt this would have been the case if they still believed that I was a devout Catholic.

Best of Luck,


It took awhile but your question finally got me remembering all those tense times. As bad as religious differences were the political differences. My willingness to stay incommunicado for longer and longer periods led to a detente, where we simply avoided touchy subjects. During presidential election years that seemed impossible. Emotions ran too high. I couldn't bear the Reagan love-fests, for instance, and they still think Obama is in league with Satan. I remember a lady from the church carrying on, in all seriousness, about how Hillary Clinton was leading bloody Satanic rituals in the basement of the Whitehouse during Bill's presidency.

Although the separation in ideology made things difficult for me, I simply couldn't conform for convenience. That would be like selling horoscopes to support my astronomy habit. I stood my ground and eventually earned a measure of respect through academic achievement. even though they call public colleges "monkey college" because of evolution.

I questioned everything since I was about 9, but I never expressed anything to my deeply catholic family.  When I went to college and started living in my own place, then I started to come out little by little.  You know, small remarks during religious conversations and stuff like that.  By the time I openly bashed the living daylights of religion, they already expected or suspected it.  My parents are very understandable and do not chase me around with pitchforks and torches, for which I am really content with.  The thing is that not every family is the same.  Reactions might vary, and that depends on the level of religious fervor that they have.  I do recommend NOT to be silent about your thoughts and to be always true to yourself.  I think lying about it could make matters worse than they already could be.  Let reason triumph. 

'tis better for them to find out now from someone they love and trust; namely yourself, than 'tis for them to find out on their own or from someone else, later.

It would appear to be a betrayal of their trust, if the second possibility happens. Which is why you would want to be certain that you tell them yourself. I would say the sooner the better, but that may not be the case; at least have a plan in mind on how to tell them, and some sort of a schedule or timeline for doing it.

This way, if they find out before you intended, and confront you about it (asking "when did you plan on telling us this", or something similar), you can clearly say that yes, you were going to tell them, and that this was how you were going to do it.

I recently deconverted inside a strongly Christian family.  I had put a video out on youtube, coming out to the world (well, the people who cared to watch at least).  My parents must have heard eventually, because they stopped nagging that I wouldn't wake up for church, and when I mentioned it to my mom, she took it like it was old news.

Alright then . Maybe I should prepare it like a presentation. Probably on the visit when they ask which church I'm attending I'll tell them the truth. 


Heres me going for it! 


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