Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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The friends I hang around with are of a different religion and they are great friends. However, I feel that because of our different religions, it's made me lack trying to be more faithful and more in contact with God. With saying that, I have opened up to my close friend about wanting to become more spiritual and religious in terms of reading the Holy Bible, having greater knowledge, attending church more, fasting, etc., and she has been very supportive of this, but I just don't know whether it's still ok to be friends with others who practice different religions, considering they will always believe something that's against my own belief.

Balance is important. You live in an integrated society of many cultures and religions and not in a bubble. In general, be respectful to everyone, but do not discuss religion with your non-Christian friends unless they are interested in Christianity. The more you know and embrace your faith, the more you will be able to interact with a diversity of individuals and impact them with your Christian beliefs without necessarily preaching to them. This spiritual maturity requires a commitment to grow in the knowledge of the Lord through prayer, studying the Holy Bible, and seeking the guidance of a spiritual father. The indisputable strength and beauty of your Orthodox Christian faith will demand respect in all forums when it is revealed in your speech and conduct.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
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