I am agnostic and I have attended Christian schools all my life (because there are no others in the area). Here in South Africa (or at least in my area) there are more churches than restaurants, and many different denominations. Religion is very delicate, and all schools here have at least one morning assembly per week in which there is invariably a prayer. Sometimes there are more, for instance during morning announcements (important information for the day).

In primary school, not really understanding what a prayer was, I bowed my head and said “amen” along with the others. In middle school, I still bowed my head by respect but kept my eyes open and didn’t say “amen”. Now, in high school, I see lots of people who are clearly not Christian keep their heads high during the prayer.

What is the respectful thing to do? I don’t want to be a hypocrite and pray with them, but I don’t want to stick out as a black sheep. Should I keep bowing my head but not praying?

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