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I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events are sometimes involve family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers (but typically the social gathering is outside of the context of work).

I don't like to discuss my beliefs, because I've seen a lot more hostility, intolerance, and bigotry based upon people not being Christian than in other areas I've lived in, including from people I had considered friends, and family members.

Some of these events are recurring, so I know that there will be a prayer of some sort ahead of time. Other times, I have no idea that this will happen until everyone is called to gather.

These aren't events where I'd normally expect a religious component; we're typically at someone's house having dinner, and not in a church, or at a wedding or other ceremony.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel conspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events are sometimes family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers.

I don't like to discuss my beliefs, because I've seen a lot more hostility, intolerance, and bigotry based upon people not being Christian than in other areas I've lived in, including from people I had considered friends, and family members.

Some of these events are recurring, so I know that there will be a prayer of some sort ahead of time. Other times, I have no idea that this will happen until everyone is called to gather.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel conspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events sometimes involve family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers (but typically the social gathering is outside of the context of work).

I don't like to discuss my beliefs, because I've seen a lot more hostility, intolerance, and bigotry based upon people not being Christian than in other areas I've lived in, including from people I had considered friends, and family members.

Some of these events are recurring, so I know that there will be a prayer of some sort ahead of time. Other times, I have no idea that this will happen until everyone is called to gather.

These aren't events where I'd normally expect a religious component; we're typically at someone's house having dinner, and not in a church, or at a wedding or other ceremony.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel conspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

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I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events are sometimes family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers.

I don't like to discuss my beliefs, because I've seen a lot more hostility, intolerance, and bigotry based upon people not being Christian than in other areas I've lived in, including from people I had considered friends, and family members.

Some of these events are recurring, so I know that there will be a prayer of some sort ahead of time. Other times, I have no idea that this will happen until everyone is called to gather.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel inconspicuousconspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events are sometimes family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers.

I don't like to discuss my beliefs, because I've seen a lot more hostility, intolerance, and bigotry based upon people not being Christian than in other areas I've lived in, including from people I had considered friends, and family members.

Some of these events are recurring, so I know that there will be a prayer of some sort ahead of time. Other times, I have no idea that this will happen until everyone is called to gather.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel inconspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events are sometimes family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers.

I don't like to discuss my beliefs, because I've seen a lot more hostility, intolerance, and bigotry based upon people not being Christian than in other areas I've lived in, including from people I had considered friends, and family members.

Some of these events are recurring, so I know that there will be a prayer of some sort ahead of time. Other times, I have no idea that this will happen until everyone is called to gather.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel conspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

2 Added some additional context.
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I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events are sometimes family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers.

I don't like to discuss my beliefs, because I've seen a lot more hostility, intolerance, and bigotry based upon people not being Christian than in other areas I've lived in, including from people I had considered friends, and family members.

Some of these events are recurring, so I know that there will be a prayer of some sort ahead of time. Other times, I have no idea that this will happen until everyone is called to gather.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel inconspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events are sometimes family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel inconspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority.

I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian, and the prayers are invariably explicitly Christian.

As discussed in this question, I am fine with being politely silent and still during the prayer. What that question doesn't cover, however, is to what degree is it respectful for me to participate or not participate?

The events are sometimes family and extended family. Other times the events are not family related at all, and instead are people who know each other as friends or coworkers.

I don't like to discuss my beliefs, because I've seen a lot more hostility, intolerance, and bigotry based upon people not being Christian than in other areas I've lived in, including from people I had considered friends, and family members.

Some of these events are recurring, so I know that there will be a prayer of some sort ahead of time. Other times, I have no idea that this will happen until everyone is called to gather.

Most times these events involve the following:

  • The organizer calls for everyone to gather
  • Everyone holds hands with the person on either side
  • Everyone bows their head
  • Everyone (?) closes their eyes
  • The organizer leads a prayer. Sometimes this is a common prayer that is recited out loud by everyone. Sometimes it is a prayer recited just by the organizer, but then when it ends everyone says "Amen!" out loud.

I want to be respectful, but to me, pretending to believe in their religion would be disrespectful.

I generally hold hands with the people around me (even though this makes me uncomfortable), but I don't know if I should bow my head, close my eyes, or say "Amen!". I feel like I shouldn't do any of those three things, since my understanding of them is that they are all indicative of respect for God and Jesus, and I can't respect something I don't believe in.

I do want to respect the people around me, however.

I also feel inconspicuous and uncomfortable by not participating fully (although I feel far more uncomfortable just by being asked to participate).

How should I behave to be the most respectful of the people around me?

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