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Separate ways

A judge in Romford has denied a mother's attempt to stop her ten-year-old daughter being baptised.

Both parents are Jewish but had not been not observant. The father became a Christian after their marriage ended, however. He took the girl to New Wine festival, where she began to believe in God for the first time. Later, she approached a Sunday school teacher for baptism without consulting either parent, and her mother went to court to prevent the ceremony.

The judge's decision turned on the fact that the girl's mother had not tried to raise her in the Jewish faith or to talk about the matter within the family before resorting to law. He ruled that baptism is only a first step in Christianity and would not adversely effect her if she later turned to Judaism. He urged the parents to work together and with the minister. It seems that practised beliefs count more before the law than unpractised tradition.

Bringing up children in a mixed marriage can be hard; bringing them up in a mixed divorce harder still.