Judge rules 10-year-old girl should be allowed to choose her religion
A judge has ruled that a 10-year-old Jewish girl should be allowed to convert to Christianity - despite her mother's claims she has been 'brainwashed'.
The little girl's divorced parents were said to be 'at war' over their religious beliefs - the child's father had converted to Christianity, and his daughter wanted to be baptised at the church he attends.
Her mum wanted her to wait until she was older to make the decision - and claimed her ex-husband had prevented their daughter from practicing Judaism. She went to court to stop the child making the switch.
Her father insisted the family had never been particularly observant Jews or brought up with strong religious beliefs, but that his daughter had told him she had 'experienced an encounter with God' after an evangelical Christian festival. He said he was sceptical at first as he thought she was just 'on a high' after the event.
Making his ruling at Romford County Court, the judge said he had no power to order or prevent the girl's baptism, but that it was 'wholly wrong' for her mother to go to court to try and stop it happening.
In a letter to the child explaining his decision, the judge wrote: "Sometimes parents simply cannot agree on what is best for their child, but they can't both be right. Your father thinks it is right for you to be baptised as a Christian now. Your mother wants you to wait until you are older, so they have asked me to decide for them. That is my job.
"My job is to decide simply what is best for you and I have decided that the best thing for you is that you are allowed to start your baptism classes as soon as they can be arranged and that you are baptised as a Christian as soon as your minister feels you are ready."
He concluded: "Finally, and this is the most important thing, both your mother and father will carry on loving you just as much whatever happens about your baptism."
Do you agree? Or do you think she should wait until she is older to decide?