Hi, I am from India. I come from jain family. we used to follow jainism without questioning, hence i grew up as vegeterian. some of my cousins were fundamentalist jains, they wont even consume roots like carrot\onion or potatoes. I was forced to learn sanskrit shlokas praising jain saints and my family firmly believed in re-incarnation and spiritual stuff of jainism.
When i reached my high school some thing drastic happened. my parents converted to christianity including me and my brother. We became born again christians and rest of my jain family, my cousins and grandparents got pissed off. I started attending church. slowly i became lead worshiper in church. i was properly brainwashed by pastors and i believed this is end of world and coming of jesus is near.
I, my brother and my parents gave up everything. i left my studies and gave my fulltime service to church for eternal life. I ruined my teenage years and my parents and me always used to argue with our jain cousins. .leading to bad relations with them. Soon i learned that church was nothin but money making buisness but still i continued to play guitar in church and lead the worship
My beliefs began to fade as i started reading some real science and books by richard dawkins like "blind watchmaker". Also i started listening to heavy metal and this really pissed of my pastor and he brainwashed my parents that i was devil possesed. My parents in turn made my life hell, i was forced to pray for hours and read bible and attend prayer meetings
I had to face many hardships and lost many things in forcibly serving the church but as i grew up my parents slowly lost the faith in christianity. They are still christians but they rarely attend church and dont force their beliefs on me now a days. I became atheist after i left my church. I have been to many different church from pentecoastals to methodists and all i saw was stupid beliefs, dogmas, rituals and insanity.
Same thing goes for jainism. i have been to many "stanaks" a place where jains worship and all i saw was insanity, dogma and superstition. Now i am open about my beliefs on natural world with no supernatural elements. My cousins are still jain and they sill believe in jain creation myths.
As an open atheist, i still have to face tough discriminations. Since i live in hindu majority country most of people i meet are hindus. Although hinduism accepts atheist beliefs but most of my hindu freinds make fun of my beliefs and have no respect. I have only 2 atheist frends till now.
Now i look at life in different way from the way that i did when i was christian. Now am workin towards fulfilling my dreams because i know that i got only ONE life, after i die, there will be nothing!. hope to hear from you guys and please excuse my bad english as i speak\write upto 6 languages so it gets very difficult to manage grammer and stuff.