Soraya grew up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “I was laid out eight years ago,” she tells ADTINL. Within the faith you can decide at the age of twelve whether you want to live in the community or not. “I was baptized under pressure when I was fifteen, but I came across as a lesbian when I was eighteen.”
Soraya’s sexuality was unacceptable within the faith, so she had to leave the house. She was then in the midst of her training as a doctor’s assistant. “That was a play.” His family moved around him in a large circle. “I was living in a blur. It was like being in a movie.”
It was a strange feeling for Soraiya to see his parents turning their back on him. “They should have unconditional love towards you, but he fell because the church said it can’t be done.”
Soraya moved to IJmuiden. Earlier he was received by his uncle and aunt, who also did not believe. “They are very nice to me. They were the only ones who told me, it doesn’t matter if you’re gay.”
Soraya hardly has any contact with her parents. “I’ve just got a nephew. I’ll listen through the media. But they’ll never ask how I’m doing.” Sorya’s father is sentenced in the church for his daughter’s sexuality. Because of this, contact between Soraya and her parents is always in secret. “Because it’s not really allowed.”
There are more examples, such as Lale and Soraya, but how often one has to run away from home because they no longer follow the faith. Statistics were never put on it. Religious scientist Maria Veilak conducted a survey among former Muslims in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. “What I have noticed is that there are very different reactions on Muslims who no longer believe”, she tells AdlyNL.
If one no longer believes, it is often seen as a betrayal. According to Veilik this is problematic. “It can cause a lot of social problems for parents, family and friends. Because you are really saying: you don’t want to be with us anymore.” In the Muslim community, mistrust does not always lead to vengeance. “Then keep it to yourself and don’t say anything about it.”
Weillick This is also happening within Orthodox Christian circles. “Sometimes you don’t believe when you say you don’t believe anymore, it’s ignored. But it also happens that the environment shrinks and moves on.”