Judge grants Jewish girl the right to be baptised
3 August 2012
A judge has said that a 10-year-old Jewish girl can be baptised, despite protestations from her mother.
The girl, referred to in court documents as “girl C”, was born to a Jewish mother and father, both of whom cannot be named for legal reasons. However, when her parents split up, her father converted to Christianity, and began taking the girl and her little brother to church services every other weekend.
The girl’s mother had allowed this, but drew the line at allowing the father to have her baptised, fearing that she had been “brainwashed” into wanting to change her faith. C’s mother felt that she was too immature to make a decision about her faith until she turned 16, and applied for a prohibited steps order to prevent the father from baptising or confirming either of their children into Christianity.
However, Judge John Platt, ruling at Romford County Court, was satisfied that C’s father was not brainwashing her, and that he wanted her to make her own decision.
The girl was not present for the ruling in court, but Judge Platt wrote a letter to her explaining his decision, which was published alongside the ruling.
He wrote, “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.
“Being baptised does not mean that you give up your Jewish heritage. That will always be part of you and I hope that you will continue to learn more about that heritage and about you (sic) mother's faith. Even after you are baptised you are still free to change your mind about your faith later when you are older. 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.”