Parents who have their babies baptised then never return to church are “breaking hearts”, a church leader in South Australia says.

Some churches require parents to take courses on the religious significance of baptism, which commits the child to a Christian upbringing.

St Peter’s Lutheran Church Elizabeth pastor Chris Mann said he urged parents to think seriously about the spiritual promises they made in baptism – and to first enroll in a course that explores Christianity.

“I now actively discourage parents from making those promises if they don’t intend to keep them, to the point where I’ve had a family not get their child baptised because I’ve told them about the promises they’re making to God and themselves,” Mr Mann said.

“In my opinion, many Christians are upset about the fact that parents and sponsors made promises they don’t intend to keep. Personally, it breaks my heart.”

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