Inter-Faith Relationships among Sailors
When the talk becomes serious about faith, no sailors made a joke about it anymore. Why? It can be the source of bitterness on board ship.
This sailor accepts jokes about physical features and the like, but with faith, it's another story. So, a fair treatment must be made so that the captain will not reprimand the one who is accused of making unfair criticism with other crew.
Practicing Faith while on Voyage
All sailors, when you visit their respective cabins will reveal about his/her faith affiliations,
The sailor is lucky to be working with:
a. Greeks - Orthodox Christians, similarities are apparent in all the traditions and celebrations being followed by Catholic Christians.
b. Indians - Some are Buddhist and some are Muslims. They respect each other's faith affiliations.
c. Filipinos- we have different religious affiliations, like: Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, Muslim, etc. The dominant among them are Catholics.
Although, when we are loading cargoes at the ports in Saudi Arabia, the custom officers restrict Christians to read their Bibles. I just don't understand the logic of this proceeding, when in fact we are on board our ship and we are bound to express our faith even though we are located at the international waters.
There are times when this sailor swapped religious pamphlets with other faith affiliations and they did the same.
There's no forcing us to change our faith affiliation but to understand the way each one of us practice our religiosity.
Visit from Religious People
The eyes of this sailor was opened clearly regarding different missionaries frequenting and visiting his ship whenever they're at port.
Aside from Lessons regarding safety, missionaries from different affiliations often visit the ship. They even offer free car service, back and forth as sailors go ashore after their duties. They visit seaman's center of particular port.
The most active is the AOS (Apostleship of the Sea) wherein the merging of services from different religious affiliations takes place. Muslims, Christians, Protestants, Hindus and Buddhists, etc. receive religious pamphlets, books and videos that they can bring (for free) on board ship. Aside from the low-cost cards for overseas calls, you can pray at the chapel or play your billiard or have a moderate drink and do some karaoke.
On board church service can be conducted according to the request of the sailors or if it is available.
Faith is so important among sailors, so that, all the temptations around
them will be fought of effectively. The lure of women and illegal money
(through drugs) can lead them astray. With a strong faith to the Supreme
Being, they can control the urge to violate the discipline that they are
following to stay sane on board ship.