Sex Awareness in Worship Centers Breaking Taboos and Promoting Health

Explore the journey of Faith, a courageous individual navigating the challenges of pregnancy within a worship center community. Discover how comprehensive sex education bridges the gap, promoting healthy relationships, preventing health risks, and fostering inclusivity. Join us in unraveling the transformative power of sex education in worship centers.

Meet Faith: A spirited young soul embarks on a journey of knowledge and growth. At the tender age of ten, she embraces a new chapter, leaving her parents to live with her aunt for better education opportunities. This choice arises from the financial constraints her family faces.

Faith possesses not only beauty but also a captivating voice with the power to thaw even the coldest hearts. Her transformation from a timid girl to a blossoming teenager captivates all who witness it.

As she approaches fifteen, she stands on the brink of the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). However, life takes an unexpected turn as she discovers she was pregnant. This news spreads through her community like wildfire, invoking curiosity and disappointment.

Questions arise regarding her choices, the father's identity, and the settings of her actions. Reprimands come from relatives, choir members, pastors, and friends. Faced with mounting pressure, Faith makes a bold decision – she moves from her aunt's home to her boyfriend's, attending church services intermittently, openly displaying her growing belly while ignoring the whispers.

Months later, she welcomes a beautiful baby girl into the world. Congratulations pour in, and she is reintegrated into the church community. Yet, a year-long penance is imposed upon her:

• She is prohibited from bringing her baby to church.

• She is relegated to the back pews.

• Although she attends rehearsals, she is barred from ministering on weekdays and Sundays.

With unwavering determination, she fulfills these conditions for eleven months, her child nearing the age of three. As her sentence nears completion, Faith stands before the congregation, praised by the pastor for her resilience.

Time progresses, and Faith discovers she is pregnant once more. Dismay washes over her – not again. Just as life returns to normalcy, a new challenge emerges. In desperation, she opts to terminate the pregnancy, aiming to avoid a repetition of her past.

Returning to the church, Faith's voice soars again during a singing session. Basking in praise and attention, she finds justification in her abortion decision. As days went by, her mood begins to shift from radiant to frail. Questions surface and concern ripples through the religious community.

Faith attributes her condition to a simple bout of digestive trouble. By evening, her aunt returns home to a devastating sight – Faith, lying on the floor, life slipping away from profuse bleeding.

Tragedy strikes and news of her passing reverberates through the church. Bafflement permeates – how could she repeat her mistakes? Some remark, "She brought this upon herself." Days later, the congregation unites in solemn fasting and prayer, striving to prevent such heartrending incidents in the future.

A year elapses, and another youth, Grace, faces a similar predicament. Undergoing an incomplete abortion, she gathers the courage to seek help, potentially altering her fate. Grace’s impoverished parents turn to their pastor for assistance, hoping to save their daughter's life through surgery.

This story conveys a clear message – advocating abstinence alone is inadequate. The question persists: How can comprehensive sex education, including preventive measures, be effectively taught to adolescents within worship centers' without sparking conflicts?

Beyond Taboos: How Sex Education in Worship Centers Promotes Healthy Choices

In a world where relationships and responsibilities are increasingly intricate, the importance of providing accurate information and guidance to young individuals cannot be overstated. Worship centers, often moral compasses for their congregations, possess a unique opportunity to foster open dialogues about sex.

Breaking the Silence

Historically, discussions about sex cause discomfort and embarrassment, especially in religious circles. Worship centers can create safe havens for open conversations, empowering young individuals to make informed decisions (1).

Aligning Values with Reality

A common concern regarding sex education in worship centers is the fear of conflicting with religious teachings. However, a well-crafted sex education curriculum need not clash with these values. It can present an opportunity to harmonize values with modern realities. By acknowledging that young people will encounter sexual situations and relationships, worship centers can guide them in navigating these circumstances while remaining true to their faith. This integration can demonstrate religious teachings' adaptability in the face of contemporary challenges.

Benefits of Sex Education in Worship Centers

Promoting Healthy Relationships

Thriving societies are built on healthy relationships. Sex education within worship centers can encourage the nurturing of healthy relationships, emphasizing communication, consent, and mutual respect. Love and compassion, central to many faiths, can extend to relationships.

Through sex education, worship centers can equip young individuals with tools to cultivate relationships based on trust, empathy, and shared understanding of one another's needs.

Preventing Health Risks

Sexual and reproductive health is a critical facet of sex education. Unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and other health risks are inescapable realities. Worship centers can contribute to their youth's well-being by providing accurate information about contraception, safe sex practices, and the significance of regular health check-ups.

Arming young individuals with this knowledge, worship centers can help forestall the physical and emotional toll that unplanned pregnancies and STIs may exact.

Embracing Inclusivity

Sex education within worship centers can embrace inclusivity and diversity. Tailored teachings can cater to various identities, orientations, and backgrounds. This inclusivity conveys a potent message – everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves respect and access to information for responsible decision-making.

This approach not only mirrors the values of numerous faiths but also contributes to crafting a compassionate, accepting community.

Parental Involvement

Integrating sex education into worship centers can bolster collaboration between parents and the religious community. Parents often find it challenging to discuss sex with their children due to cultural norms or personal unease.

Worship centers can serve as platforms for parents to engage in conversations about sex education. This platform enables parents to share concerns, seek guidance, and collaborate on imparting values-based teachings to their children.

This partnership fortifies the support system surrounding young individuals, ensuring the messages they receive remain consistent both at home and in their places of worship.


The integration of sex education within worship centers represents a progressive stride, aligning with the evolving needs of today's youth. By confronting taboos, harmonizing values with reality, and engaging parents as partners, worship centers can significantly mold the future of their congregations. This approach empowers young individuals with the knowledge essential for informed decision-making while reinforcing the values of respect, compassion, and understanding intrinsic to numerous faiths. In a world necessitating comprehensive guidance, sex education within worship centers emerges as a beacon of enlightenment and empowerment, catalyzing the betterment of both youth and society.

By: Damilola Elewa

Updated: August 2023.