A toll-free atheist hotline will offer answers to those questioning and “recovering from” their religion. Close to 40 atheist support groups, belonging to Recovering from Religion, have come together to create the hotline project.
The support groups expect to provide the hotline 24 hours a day. Callers will be offered information and counseling related to questions about their religious beliefs or lack thereof.
As reported by CNN, the hotline is not proposed to convert callers to atheism. The goal is to simply provide answers about atheism, and a support system for those struggling with giving up their religious beliefs.
For those raised with or involved in an organized religion, loss of faith can be devastating. Guilt, insecurity, and loss of support from family and friends, can cause serious anxiety and even depression. The atheist hotline will provide counseling to help callers work through their problems and concerns.
Sarah Morehead, executive director of Recovering from Religion, states that their organization has received numerous calls and e-mails from people seeking support or counseling. The atheist hotline is an effort to provide another resource for those who need help.
Volunteers answering the calls will be trained to counsel callers on issues such as guilt and fear of rejection from friends and family. All calls are anonymous and will be kept confidential.
As reported by Business Insider, Recovering from Religion is in the process of collecting $30,000 worth of donations to complete initiation of the project. The group currently offers support online and in the form of books and pamphlets. However, they would like to include the hotline as an option for real-time counseling and crisis intervention.
The Recovering from Religion website offers several options for donations which are collected through PayPal. They hope to collect the full $30,000 by the end of this month.
The atheist hotline project is not an effort to convert people to atheism, or to talk them out of their beliefs. They explain that they saw a need for real-time counseling and more than anything want to provide an outlet for those who need someone to talk to.
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