10-year-old Jewish girl allowed to embrace Christianity
London: A 10-year-old Jewish girl in Britain has been permitted by a court to convert to Christianity after her mother's claims that she had been "brainwashed" and was too young to change faith were rejected.
The girl's divorced parents were at conflict over her desire to be baptised at the church her father, himself a convert, now attends, the Telegraph reported Friday.
The ruling was handed down by the Romford County Court in Essex.
The girl was born in 2001 to Jewish parents. But her mother and father divorced in 2010 and she and her younger brother now live for a week at a time with each parent under a shared parenting agreement.
Her father converted to Christianity after the breakdown of his marriage.
In November, the girl's mother applied for a court order forbidding the father from baptising their daughter into the Christian faith.
The father claimed the family had never been strictly observant Jews, and neither of his children grew up with any strong religious beliefs.
He said his daughter told him on the way back from a Christian festival that she had "experienced an encounter with god". He said he was initially sceptical.
The mother said her former husband prevented the girl from practising Judaism and said she wanted her daughter to wait until she turned 16 to become baptised.
He Jewish grandparents accused the girl's father of forcing her to give up her Jewish heritage.
The judge concluded he had no power to order the girl's baptism, but dismissed the application to stop it happening.
At the end of the case, the judge ruled that she was "mature enough" to choose her religion.
The judge, however, stressed that it did not mean the girl would lose her Jewish heritage.