Interfaith Connections

KidSpirit Online is a free teen magazine & website for kids created by and for young people to tackle life’s big questions together. Interfaith Connections is a column for teens to dialogue about how their faith or wisdom tradition influences their view of life’s big questions. Enjoy these perspectives, and be sure to submit your poetry, artwork and writing for future issues of KidSpirit.

Ideals Versus Reality

by Vanita Sharma

When I was first asked how my religion or faith views the stranger, I didn’t know what to think. It seemed that my religion taught one thing, while my personal experiences taught another. I have grown up in a Hindu family where religion is not strictly practiced. However, I learned many Hindu epics and traditions

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The Stranger

by Mustafa Khan

The stranger can’t be trusted. The stranger is inhospitable and dangerous. Pakistan is a developing nation and a large percentage of the population faces poverty and struggles to earn an income. These people are hungry and poor, which can provoke anger and bitterness amongst them. The literacy rate in Pakistan is about 40% which means

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The Earth and Me

by Fatema Karimi

I feel very lucky to be part of the Muslim community where I can study how humanity affects the earth, as well as understand my duty towards it. Islam is a religion that teaches duty and responsibility. We are made dependent on one another so that we may help each other. My relationship with the

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Home Sweet Home

by Zoe Olson

When I was younger, my family lived in a house with a giant two-and-a-half-acre lawn that was mostly trees and a creek trickling through the backyard. Being homeschooled, I had a lot of time on my hands; I would have gone crazy with boredom if it hadn’t been for that backyard. The forest was at

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The Ecology of Our Minds

by Nimai Agarwal

When I was eight years old, my parents used to take me to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. We would go every week of the summer, spread out a blanket on the grass, and enact a tradition central to our monotheistic branch of Hinduism: singing devotional songs to passersby, often accompanied by a harmonium

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Our World: An Interdependent Web

by Anna Zimmer

I was not raised in a family where religion played a big role. I have always known that both my parents were Christians at one point in their lives, but they drifted away and by the time I was born, they were both atheists, happy to have their Sunday mornings free of commitments. When I

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A Buddhist Theory of Language

by Sharon Lin

I knelt on the silken scarf laid across the hardwood floor, my head bent in silent prayer to the spirits of my ancestors. I heard muffled sounds of chanting monks through the old music player at the side of the decaying red shrine. There was no silence on Saturday morning for me. A little after the

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Who God Is

by Hannah Berkowitz

When I was 13, in the midst of preparing for my bat mitzvah, I decided I didn’t believe in God. I walked into my rabbi’s office for our weekly meeting about my torah portion and broke the news. I expected him to blow up, kick me out, and cancel my service. I had comebacks prepared

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One Last Letter for You, Santa

by Maria Christian

Dear Santa, Your identity was revealed to me in a book. The book was written for people three times my age, but I read it because it had the word Christmas on the cover and I loved Christmas more than anything. Believing in you until I was 11 is pretty good, I think — it’s

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Trapped

by David Wiegn

I am lost in a world of increasing religious fundamentalism. All around me, religion remains powerful, and I feel helpless. At my high school in Dallas, Texas, teaching evolution remains a touchy subject, even this far into the 21st century. Numerous school clubs and charities spread Christianity as primary goals. Recently, my high school has

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