Why People Switch Religions
There are many reasons why people convert to a different religion. Some of these reasons include having a belief system that's different than the one they grew up with, the need for a specific set of beliefs that fulfills a need in their lives, or a desire to explore other religious experiences. Some change because they are forced to by their family, or some convert at marriage. Religions have been around for thousands of years and have helped people meet and bring together their physical bodies and spirit (through prayer). At least half of Americans have switched religions at least once in their life.
Switching religions often causes arguments between family members. It is essential to understand that no single reason will explain everyone's reasons for doing so. A person may be motivated by many different factors. These could include a desire to have an open mind, a need to belong to a specific group, a need to immerse themselves in a particular culture or religion, or the chance to have an important life-changing experience. Many times what drives people to change religions or join a religious group is life adversities.
When people are contemplating switching religions, they often ask themselves how religion can change their lives and the potential benefits of doing so? Family members and friends also ask these questions. A survey conducted by the Pew Forum in 2007 explores some of the reasons people leave or stay with their faith. The survey reveals that 56% of US adults have kept their childhood religion, while 16% left their childhood religion only to come back. A very interesting point on this survey is that many people are "unaffiliated" or say they don't believe in God.
People turn to religion because it provides answers to questions that human reasoning cannot explain. It also provides a sense of comfort and allows them to look at life from a spiritual perspective, and helps people be more hopeful. Sometimes, people turn to religion or switch to a new religion because they feel motivated to start a new chapter in their lives and rediscover new ways to find meaning. Religion makes us feel like we're part of something greater than us, it makes us feel like we belong, and it creates a bond between other individuals that may share the same faith as us; religion makes us feel at peace.
There is nothing that says God wants us to switch religions, but there are people that believe God wants everyone to change to their particular faith. Some people even kill others just to make that point. Without a doubt, religion is like a glue that helps communities come together. If your religion is providing you with the answers you need, if it is fulfilling your spiritual needs, and it teaches you to open your heart to the suffering of others, and it helps you stay grounded and true to yourself, I'd say, stick with it.