“Beating your wings and feathers, you broke free from this cage. Rising to the sky, you attained the world of the soul.” – Rumi

THE INCARCERATED CHRISTIAN

Shining light on the dark side of religious experiences to help people break free, heal and live spiritually abundant lives. 

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Robin Mitchell Stroud, PhD

Religiously eclectic and spiritually fluid, Robin Mitchell Stroud cares deeply about people and their ability to claim and live spiritually abundant lives, whatever “spiritually abundant” means to them. Raised in Baptist churches in the South, Stroud’s growing up years were marked by spiritual struggles that were born of religious abuse and neglect. Through personal grappling and scholarly studies, she spent a good deal of her adult life understanding and healing what she calls “original wounds” and is passionate about sharing with others the knowledge gained from these experiences.

Click here to listen to Stroud’s survivor story.

Debra Levy Martinelli, MA

Raised in the tradition-rich conservative branch of Judaism, Debra Levy Martinelli is fascinated by the ways in which religious incarceration manifests within various denominations. On The Incarcerated Christian Podcast, she pulls from her own experiences and taps into the insatiable curiosity that led to her 35-year career in journalism and public relations to bring to the discussions a perspective through a slightly different lens.

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INCARCERATED CHRISTIANS LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE

(C) ROBIN MITCHELL STROUD, PHD

Inspired by Dorothy Law Nolte’s 1972 poem “Children Learn What They Live”

  • When Incarcerated Christians live with constant reminders of sin and being sinners, they learn unhealthy shame.
  • When Incarcerated Christians live with excessive punishments, they learn to be fearful.
  • When Incarcerated Christians live under an omnipresent gaze, they learn to hide.
  • When Incarcerated Christians live with frequent judgments, they learn to be judgmental.
  • When Incarcerated Christians live with rigid rules, they learn to be dogmatic.
  • When Incarcerated Christians live with absolute obedience, they learn to unthinkingly follow.
  • When religiously incarcerated girls and women live with expectations for total submission, they learn to be subservient.
  • When religiously incarcerated boys and men live with an understanding of absolute headship, they learn to be autocratic.
  • When religiously incarcerated LGBTQIA+ individuals live with admonitions that homosexuality/other sexual identities are wrong, they learn to feel defective.
  • When Incarcerated Christians live with beliefs that sex is wrong, they learn to feel guilty over normal sexual impulses and behaviors.
  • When Incarcerated Christians live with highly structured and monitored schedules, they learn to feel guilty for having fun.

Why Incarcerated Christians? Because it metaphorically connects biblical (think Israelites, Canaanites and Hittites) and prison (incarceration) contexts and provides an identity for people raised in religious prisons.

Who We Are

We teach people how to identify and heal spiritual wounds born of religious abuse and neglect so they can live spiritually abundant lives.

Coming of age is a common term used to describe one’s growing up years, specifically the social and cultural transition from childhood to adulthood. Coming of conscience is the name we’ve given to describe the inner process for the same. What happens when a person’s coming of age and coming of conscience develop within the context of religious and spiritual abuse and neglect? What even is religious and spiritual abuse and neglect? How does a person learn to break free from the deeply internalized fear and shame born of such an upbringing to claim spiritual independence and a more authentic spiritual life? We teach people how to identify and heal the spiritual wounds from this kind of coming of age and coming of conscience so they can live spiritually abundant lives.

We Are Social

Partners

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