What's everyone's current take on religion(s)? What kind of religious upbringing have you got? Has your view of the world changed as you have grown up?

Most Finns still belong to Evangelical Lutheran church. It's a protestant church derived from Catholicism somewhere in the 16th century. My namesake Mikael Agricola, the apprentice of Martin Luther himself, translated the New Testament and some other texts in order to replace the Latin Bible used in our country before.

As for myself, I used to attend church often in my childhood, singing hymns and memorizing the creed. As I was able to read before entering school, I was also absorbed by the Bible and knew pretty much what kind of stuff was written in every book there. I also memorized the Ten Commandments and prayed every evening, using at least 3 different prayers. I even drew comics about the ancient Near East, the main character being Belsa the Babylonian, an ordinary citizen of the ancient Babylonian Empire. Belsa travelled to Israel, Egypt, Medes, Greece, among other countries.

However, in 1997, my view of the world started shifting rabidly for two reasons. First off, I read a book by Mika Waltari named The Egyptian. I sympathized with Sinuhe, the main character, and both Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations whom I had regarded as mere barbarians and pagans before, stared to interest me in another fashion. Another revolution in my life was moving to Haapavesi to a permanent substitute family.

Many other things replaced practicing religion in my life, and when we took a look at other religions than Christianity in the 7th class at school, I had decided that the purpose of my life wasn't to believe in Jesus anymore, it was to find a purpose of my life. Almost every member of Evangelical Lutheran church goes to Confirmation school at the age of 14 or 15. Well, I chose not to, unlike all of my classmates!

Finally, in 2003, I became of age and was able to officially resign from the Evangelical Lutheran church. The years of pure individualism and own way of thinking began, or at least I thought so.

But now to the present day and what's happening tomorrow. I re-started to draw Belsa the Babylonian, with a less iffy name, Balsa the Babylonian. I decided to enter a Confirmation School for adults. The reason? I haven't quite realized it as of yet, maybe I now considered Confirmation School as self-examination rather than conversion to full Christianity. I don't have to agree with every single word of the Bible. It's also a new experience. My final Confirmation ceremony is going to take place in Merijärvi church tomorrow.

Let's see how we can discuss religion now! I know there's a dark history of this kind of threads at TPM, but perhaps we can make a difference now.