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Doubting Christianity can be a painful process. Everything gets turned upside down – your sense of purpose, your community, your routine – everything.

If you’re seeking answers and support,
you’ve come to the right place.

Many Arethions come from Christianity, including Arethion’s founder Caleb. We’ve traveled the road you’re on, and we’re here to help.

If you want to know “Is Christianity true?” check out our video series on the topic.

If you want to talk to someone about your Christian identity or doubts, join our online community and connect with a mentor.

Finally, if you’re ready to leave Christianity but don’t know where to start, below is our guide.

10 Steps for How to Leave Christianity

1. Care for yourself.

Take time to collect your thoughts, to process your doubts, and to sit with your feelings, whatever they may be. Only move onto the next step when you’re ready.

2. Make the decision.

This may sound obvious, but it’s very important. You need to make the decision to leave, and you need to commit to it. Nothing changes unless we act.

3. Identify your support system.

Connect with people who’ve made this journey before and can offer advice or a listening ear. If you don’t know anyone in your community, connect with a deconstruction mentor on Arethion. This is a person who has already left Christianity or who plans to leave around the same time you do. It’s a great help to have someone by your side during this transition.

4. Make a list of the people you’re going to tell and in what order.

The first person you tell should be the person most likely to support the change. Maybe it’s someone who’s left the faith already or who’s shared doubts with you. Beginning with the least judgmental person in your network will let you get some practice before you tackle anyone who may be confrontational.

5. Write a script.

It doesn’t have to be long, and it’s not something you need to memorize. The reason this step is important is that roleplaying a conversation ahead of time and writing down your thoughts increases confidence and leads to greater clarity in the conversation itself. If you’re so inclined, you can read your script during the conversation so you don’t have to choose your words in the moment.

6. Prepare for questions.

Your decision to leave Christianity may come as a shock to people who love you, and they’re going to have questions. Decide beforehand if you want to answer those questions. If you do, prepare ahead of time. If you don’t, that’s fine. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Your goal in the conversation is to communicate a choice you’ve made. That’s it. If someone pushes hard for evidence or proof that Christianity isn’t true, send them to Arethion’s video series, “Is Christianity True?”

7. Start small or go all-in - it’s your choice.

If you want to proceed cautiously and “test the waters” in your community to gauge potential reactions, start small. Decrease church attendance. Skip a bible study. Drop a commitment. Alternatively, if you’re anxious to leave, simply walk out the door and hold your head high.

8. Tell the people in your network one-by-one.

Plan ahead and imagine what a negative and a positive reaction from that person might be like. Decide how you’ll handle each reaction. And remember: start with the person most likely to support the change.

9. Don’t take negative reactions personally.

When people discover someone they care about is leaving the faith, it may provoke feelings of fear and concern because of Christian doctrine. Moreover, the news may threaten the person’s Christian identity itself. “If Emma can leave, anybody can.” Leaving Christianity is a hard thing to contemplate, and some people will react with defensiveness. The best thing to do is to be clear why you’re doing this, and then to give them time and space to digest the news.

10. Be explicit about whether or not they can share the news that you’re leaving Christianity.

You deserve to be in control of this process. Do it at your own pace, on your own terms.