My journey back

I was the firstborn, in a family of eight children, to God-fearing parents. Church was a household word. I was very active in my neighborhood church, playing a major role as a Sunday School youth leader beginning at the age of ten.

I really loved singing hymns and taking part in church concerts, but this didn't continue. When I began secondary school, I went to a religious boarding school. I was a very innocent boy with moral standards, although things turned upside down bit by bit with the new friends I made at school. They came from different family backgrounds, and they didn't want anything to do with church. Every morning, though, we had to get up early to attend 6 a.m. church services. I found myself being influenced by my friends and feeling as though I didn't need to have any involvement in a church. The fact that my school was sponsored by a religion different from my own made it harder for me. I had to follow the rules laid down by the school administration, and I didn't like those rules.

Beslan—a response
October 4, 2004

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