Interview on March 8, 2022, with Maiya, who is studying public health, in front of the Sequoia building at Evergreen Valley College in San José, California.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Maiya: I believe in God and I look to Him in times of good and in times of bad, but I don’t go to church. I would say I’m religious. When I lived with my parents, we used to go to church when I was younger. I was baptized. But they never were very heavy on religion because I can compare to others who I’ve seen, very much more religious. I’m not informed about everything, like the Bible. I know many people know many specifics of it, but I’m very not knowing much. It was a Christian church and I’d like to go because they would do the singing and I liked that, everyone in the same room together. It was a good vibe.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Maiya: Yes. I think eventually we all go to heaven. I don’t think I look more on the bad perspective, like, “Oh, you’re a bad person, you go there.” But if you’re a good person, you do good things, you go to heaven and you see those you left behind and take care of them in a way, look over them.
What if you’re not a good person?
Maiya: If you’re not a good person, those who do those crazy crimes, I never really thought if they go to hell, like what happens to them there. I’m not really sure, but I wouldn’t think they have a spot up there.
Why do you believe in God?
Maiya: God is the Person Who is there for you and is able to support you. Even in times when you feel like you don’t believe in yourself, He believes in you. If you don’t understand why things happen, He understands and eventually He will show you why those things happened. I feel like you have someone that you should always believe in that will be there for you, will love you, support you, even if it’s not those people right in front of you, there is God.
Do you think there’s evidence for the existence of God?
Maiya: It’s not exactly straight up evidence, but I’ve heard so many stories of things and it’s like, “What else would it be?” It has to be God. No other explanation makes sense. I’ve heard both sides, like, “Oh, but that’s not really real. Coincidences can happen.” And it’s like, “Well, I don’t necessarily think that. If you want to play it down, go ahead, but I will stick to my view.”
What would you say if someone asked you “Who’s Jesus?”
Maiya: I would say Jesus is the Son of God. I’ve heard the stories and everything, like,”Oh, he’s not an actual person,” this and that, but He’s still a figure, a very strong figure.
What do you mean by “figure”?
Maiya: I feel like it could be in different ways, so it’s not always the same. I’ve heard “coming down to earth” and things like that, but I guess wouldn’t be exactly sure, but a very strong figure.
Do you think Jesus really exists or existed?
Maiya: I think He existed, exists now, is still strong and powerful, and is very much alive.