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Inter-Faith Relationships among Sailors

Updated on April 28, 2011
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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.

Belgian couple missionaries on board my previous ship @ Antwerp, Belgium-21-26May2009 (Photo taken by thesailor)
Belgian couple missionaries on board my previous ship @ Antwerp, Belgium-21-26May2009 (Photo taken by thesailor)

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.

The Sailor's Prayer (Photo by thesailor)
The Sailor's Prayer (Photo by thesailor)
Mutli-lingual versions of the Holy Bible (Photo from the Texas Port Ministry catering to all sailors, truckers, etc.)
Mutli-lingual versions of the Holy Bible (Photo from the Texas Port Ministry catering to all sailors, truckers, etc.) | Source

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.

Deepwater Pathfinder (Photo from Texas Port Ministry)
Deepwater Pathfinder (Photo from Texas Port Ministry) | Source

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    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      5 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thank you very much for inspiring me, too, Ms Dora. Although I cannot comment in all of your hubs, I see you as a hubber with strong conviction with regards of FAITH.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is a very encouraging hub--to know that faith and spirituality are a regular part of the sailor's life. May God help you keep the faith while you travel. Love the seaman's prayer.

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      6 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thank you for enlightening us, Sir Nick! I hope other sailors will take your advice positively.

    • nick071438 profile image

      nick071438 

      6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      Yes, seafarers must have a strong and unwavering faith in a Supreme Being to avoid falling into the abyss of sin.

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Branding people connotes negativity or crab mentality. I hope others will learn from the tales of these sailors, who went through the rigors of life at sea.

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks for featuring this hub. Many people stereotype seafarers; accusing them of bad things. Deep inside, they're human beings, always homesick and miss their families back home.

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thanks, Spirit Whisperer! Respect is a must when you're on board a commercial ship. I have so much time reflecting about my existence and continue to deal with my spirituality these days.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man

      This is an interesting hub and I like your open approach to this subject. You explain how important religion is to a seafarer but you do not judge the path each one follows. That says a great deal about you and for that reason you have found yourself another follower. Voted up!

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      @Romano Arnesto: Thanks. Once you've joined these men on high seas, you'll appreciate the 3/4 creation of God here on Earth. Lots of water and yet, there are still creatures, lots of it that keep the balance of our world.

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thanks, travel man! Faith keeps us sane while on board ship!

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Seafrare Mama, thanks for this hub-visit. I've been thinking thoroughly about your suggestion for writing a book out of my hubs. Thanks for appreciating my works. I am concentrating on creating a bit fictional character to sustain its longevity to draw more readers. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that I'll finish my manuscripts this year.

    • Romano Arnesto profile image

      Romano Arnesto 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Sailors have broader understanding about the kind of faith we are associated with. There are lots of camaraderie going on on board ship. Thanks, sailor!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Faith plays big whenever sailors are on board ship. Thanks for sharing, sailor!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      7 years ago from New England

      Great hub with a very useful perspective, Sailor. Do I understand you correctly that faith services on board lean toward having a "unitarian" tone...one that honors all spiritualities? I love your statements about the importance of faith to sailors for the sake of helping them stay out of all sorts of trouble. It is so true on land, too, isn't it? Have you been to the Mariner's House on North Street in Boston? I've stepped in once and it seems like a lovely place. :0)

      Enjoyed reading the Seafarer's prayer based on the 23rd psalm (my favorite). Thanks for including that!

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thanks, Doc!

    • Dr. Amilia profile image

      Dr. Amilia 

      7 years ago

      Very useful and awesome.

      Voted up!

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