Religion and Young People

AQA Specification A - GCSE- R.S. religion and life issues topic 6


Key Terms

Birth Ceremonies = relgious rituals that are performed either when a child is born or in early infancy.

Brotherhood = support derived by being part of a community with shared values, aspirations etc. (sisterhood is the female form of this)

Coming of Age ceremonies = religious rituals performed to celebrate a child's move to adulthood in the faith, sometimes called initiation ceremonies.

Empowerment = developing confidence in individuals/groups.

Faith Schools = schools supported by certain faith group. 

Marginalisation = social process of becoming isolated/left out.

Secular Society = all aspects of society that are not influenced by religion. 

Spirituality = a sense of awe and wonder, something outside of everyday human experience. 

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Birth Ceremonies


  • baptism where the child is welcomed.
  • Baby dressed in white to show purity.
  • Priests ask parents and godparents 3 q's about faith.
  • Water is taken from font and sprinkled 3 times on baby's head.
  • 'In the name of the father, son and holy spirit'.
  • Symbol of cross is made and child's name announced.
  • A lighted candle is given to the parents as symbol of Jesus. 
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Birth Ceremonies (2)


  • Hindu ceremonies are called samskaras, some before birth and after.
  • Jatakarma -father makes aum sign on baby's tongue with honey and ghee so the child has sweet nature.
  • Father says the name of the ultimate reality into the baby's ear to welcome them into faith. 
  • Namakarana (10-12 days a/birth) - baby is dressed in new clothes and taken to the temple. 
  • Astrologer reads out the baby's horoscope &The child's name is announced.
  • The family make a havan and makes offerings to deities.


  • No religious, only cultural. Monk visits home to bless the child and says scriptures as a blessing. Parents visit temple and make offerings.
  • Water is sprinkled on the child to show cleanliness.
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Commitment Ceremonies


  • Confirmation ceremony at 12 years to confirm Baptism promises. 
  • Child attends preparation classes. Service is conducted by a bishop. 
  • Asks the child 3 baptism questions, they say yes.
  • He lays his hands on their forehead and says they are commited to Church.
  • Holy Communion is then celebrated, child takes first communion.


  • Sacred Thread Ceremony for boys around 12 which shows entry to caste.
  • Takes place ina garden around a sacred fire.
  • Puja (worship) conducted by a boy's teacher. 
  • Sacred Thread presented to him, placed over his left should across his body to the right hip.
  • The boy is now allowed to conduct religious ceremonies, recite scriptures and marry. 
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Choices and Rights

  • Upbringing (parents, other family, environment)
  • Spirituality (inner personal conscience and awareness)
  • Moral Codes (the law, family values, religious teachings, personal values)
  • Religious Beliefs - influence on development, choice to maintain faith.
  • Peer Pressure - need to fit in with group.
  • Other Influences : education, the law, media, culture.


  • Rights are things we are entitled to like education, protection under law, healthcare/welfare. 
  • But we can only expect to have these rights if we take responsibility for them. We uphold law to be protected by it.
  • Young people's rights are enshrined in UK law and the declaration of rights of the child. 
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Freedom of Choice & Schools

We have choice in our decisions, however :

  • There are always limitations e.g. law, age, parents, religion.
  • Generation gap leads to conflict. 
  • Religion impose rules on people's will for the sake of their soul but they mention free will. 
  • Various relationships influences us and the freedom of choice (+peers)

State Schools:

  • R.S. 
  • Assemblies (collective worship)

Faith Schools:

  • Differences to state schools e.g. admissions, rules based on faith.
  • Educate within the context of certain beliefs. 
  • Promotes bigotry as they instill that faith based on the students own faith. 
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Being Religious

  • Faith Groups - activities for young people
  • Worship - youth services, ceremonies for birth, commitment.
  • Festivals - fun for children, stories, celebrations, gifts.
  • Youth Organisations - scouts and guides movement, brigades.
  • Social Activities - youth clubs, sport, prayer groups.
  • Voluntary Work - gap-year activities, sponsored events. 

Benefits for Young Believers :

  • Range of Activities and support of brotherhood/sisterhood.
  • Membership and belonging & sense of empowerment.
  • Sense of meaning and purpose.

Problems for Young Believers :

  • Secular society - conflicts over dress and culture. 
  • Marginalisation - social process of exclusion and being left out.
  • Discrimination - religious prejudice leading to discrimination.
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Religious Teachings

Christianity :

- 'Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the lord' (Colossians)

- 'Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity' (Timothy) 

Hinduism :

- Action is greater than inaction. Perform your task in life (Bhavagad Gita)

- A man in this world, without learning, is like a beast of the field (Hindu Proverb)

Islam :

- Be good to your parents (Qura'an) 

- Those who show the most perfect faith are kindest to their families (Hadith)

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Questions on This Topic

1 ) Give one advantages of schools having an assembly.

2) Give 2 different influences on young people as they grow up.

3) Describe an initiation ceremony in one religion you have studied.

4) Explain the rights and responsibilities of young people in a faith group?

5) Explain the birth ceremonies in one religion you have studied.

6) Explain the role of schools in contributing to young people's understanding of religious beliefs. 

6) Religion is too old fashioned for young people today? Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer showing you have thought about more than one point of view. Refer to religious arguments in your answer. 

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Viruben Nandakumar


this is good but its actually spec B AQA RS UNIT 2 Topic 6 

Sienna Jones


Your spelling is a little confusing ;/



Thank you. :)

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