There are so many religions in the world - like Christianity, Judaism, Islam - and there is variety in each one.
Your religion and cultural identity can become a brick that adds positively to your self-esteem because it places you in a group. Each family practises their religious and cultural beliefs differently. Some families are very strict and other more casual. If you are in a community or school where you and your family are a minority, you may experience violence or discrimination. Feeling different can be frightening, but it allows you the opportunity to grow stronger, and full of conviction in who you are.
As your go through your teenage years, you may embrace your cultural or religious beliefs without question. But you may also question them and want to discover what else is out there. You may even want to see if another religion makes more sense to you than the one you were born into.
Make your religious and cultural bricks work for you. Learn enough about them so you can withstand teasing, mocking and even violence. This does not mean you have to be become very religious, but it can help you to establish your own unique identity.
Whatever you do, whether you embrace your present traditional beliefs or find a new one, let it be a positive place of belonging and acceptance. This is a place where you can tolerate the difference of others, even your own family. As a young person, you can explore more modern ideas, while still respecting the values of elders.
(adapted from Dr Eve’s Sex Book: A Guide for Young People)