Suicide - a person intentionally ends his or her own life. In the UK over 5000 people kill themselves each year. Suicide drastically affects families and friends left behind. Men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide. Suicide rate among young people is rising. People sometimes attempt suicide but hope they will be discovered before they die – this is called a “cry for help”.

Main reasons for committing suicide:

Christian attitudes to suicide

Christian attitudes to suicide : In the past, the Church taught that suicide was a serious sin; suicides were not allowed a Christian funeral, or buried in holy ground. Survivors were severely punished. They believed it showed a deliberate rejection of God’s gift of life.

Today, the Church has changed. Much more is known about depression, stress, grief and other causes of suicide. Instead of condemning victims, the Church tries to understand, and support the relatives. Most Christians believe it is wrong to commit suicide, but understand why people try it. The right response to suicide is to be loving and forgiving. People should be helped, not condemned.

Christian arguments against suicide

The Samaritans

Christians might support the Samaritans. Started by Christians but open to anyone. Provides confidential emotional support to anyone who needs it, in the hope of preventing suicide. Increases public awareness of suicide and depression, so that people will be more understanding and better able to help others.