Religious Instruction: You Kids Are Going To Hell!

religious instruction - scaring kids about hell
Sign outside a church in Whangarei

Kids being told that they are “going to hell” in bible classes is something that we are repeatedly told “does not happen” by Christians supportive of Religious Instruction Classes. However, I know it does because I’ve seen so many comments to that effect and my own children and friends children have experienced it. I should have saved them all the comments (kicking myself) but in only a few minutes, I was able to find 6 quotes from people in NZ who either experienced that for themselves or whose children were attacked in this way.

Children of fundamentalist Christians also have a habit of threatening their non-Christian friends with hell because they don’t believe in God. Some might say that this is not the responsibility of actual teachers or bible teachers but I say that you can’t bring a religious ideology into a school and then claim no responsibility for how it spreads. 

Both my daughters and their friends have been repeatedly told by children from evangelical Christian families that they are going to hell.

Has this happened to you or your kids?  please get in touch

“I had a Salvation Army RI teacher tell me at the age of 7 that my parents were sinners that would burn in hell and I would never see them again, I was beside myself for hours.” – C.B. (Facebook)

My 6yr came home one day telling me about Hell and why we need to pray etc etc. I flipped the f out, tried to have it stopped, in the end got nowhere so showed up every ‘bible’ and took them home. The alternative was them sitting in a room by themselves ‘punished’ for not participating. This is not opt-in, it is mandatory and opt-out only, if you opt-out the kids are made to feel punished and sent away. – (Reddit)

I was a teacher aide in a primary school and the local bible lady came in, and told the kids, the story of Noah, and basically told them if they don’t love god, he’ll kill them, not quite as blunt as that, but as an adult that’s what I took from it. – L.B. (Facebook)

bible in schools opt out going to hell

They definitely taught us about Hell when I did it in primary school. They said that we would burn in fire unless we were saved by Jesus. – (Reddit)

It is a loophole that schools “close” for the half hour that these people, most of whom are lovely and earnest, are in the classrooms. Some of them cross the line and my daughter came home about a year ago, asking if I would be going to hell and if she had to as well. I would far rather, given our changing society, to have my children taught about different religions, tolerance, to ask questions without fear of reprisal or judgement, and to gain an appreciation for other cultures and beliefs, than the current state of affairs. – L.F. (Facebook)

When I was a kid me and a friend opted out and we got teased by the other kids that we were “going to hell” for a week or two. Pretty weird in retrospect. – (Reddit)

“My son was being harassed two or three times every week. ‘Why don’t you believe in God?’, ‘you’re going to hell’, and that sort of thing. My daughter was also being told that she should believe in God as well.” – Tanya Jacob (Education Review)

“…that changed about two years ago after Emily was told she would go to hell when stating during a lesson that she did not believe in God.” – Paul Bennett (NZ Herald)

Her daughter came home one day and said, “mummy, do we pray?” My friend said, “no, it’s not something we believe in.” Her daughter looked worried and said, “but I learned today that if we don’t pray, we go to hell. Are we going to hell?” – M.B (Facebook)

“…when I was a child I was harassed by the teachers and students because I didn’t believe in Christianity it was awful at the age of 5 thinking you would go to hell for not doing or believing a certain thing.” – J.M. (Facebook)

“The ex-principal of Whangaparoa College told me he had seen a class told the non-Church goers were “going to hell”.” – J.M (Reddit)

“It was a member of her church who saw nothing wrong with teaching my then 5 year olds class all about hell alongside ‘but if you believe in God you get to go to heaven’.” – J.W. (Facebook)

“When our daughter was 6 we had to allay her fears that Mummy and Daddy would be going to hell because we don’t believe in Jesus…. I was so angry, we opted her out the next day… what kind of values is that? Scaring little children.” – K.S. (Facebook)

“I opted to remove my kids from Bible in schools when Miss 7 came home and called me a sinner because I had left her father. The opinions of a teacher who I had never met don’t need to be foisted onto a small child.” – T.T. (Facebook)

“When my son told his class “mates” he didn’t believe in God, he got told, “God will kill you”, offered to be beaten up and treated horrendously by half the class and older kids.
He said some of the meanest kids were “Christians” and was told he he would go to Hell. Because he “..believed in science..”.” – A.S. (Facebook)

I pulled my daughter from religious education years ago as she came home saying we were going to hell if we didn’t believe in god and was absolutely terrified of being burnt !! – L.J. (Facebook)

My friends daughter went home crying her eyes out because they told her she (and her parents) would burn in hell forever. No child deserves that. – M.Y. (Facebook)

I had my boy who was 8 at the time scream & crying every night for three weeks too scared to go to sleep because he had been a bit naughty that day so thought he was going to die that night & burn in the firey hell. – S.A. (Facebook)

Has this happened to you or your kids?  please get in touch


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