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46-Year-Old Mother of Seven with 800 Tattoos All Over Body Told to Leave Church

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In a poignant testament to the challenges of acceptance and judgment in places of worship, Melissa Sloan, a 46-year-old mother of seven from Wales, claims she was expelled from her local church due to her extensive facial tattoos.

Sloan’s story has sparked a conversation on religious inclusivity and the appearance-based biases that persist within communities of faith.

Melissa Sloan,
Melissa Sloan, the mother of seven with 800 tattoos | Facebook

Sloan, whose visage is adorned with over 800 tattoos including vibrant squares, hearts, and a prominent crucifix, shared her distressing experience with the Daily Star.

The tattoos, many of which were inked by her partner Luke, symbolise her renewed faith in God following Luke’s significant health scare.

According to Sloan, her attempt to engage in prayer and song at the church was met with mockery and dismissal.

“Everyone turned their back laughing at me. The priest said ‘you’ve got to leave’ but most of them were laughing at me, nothing new. The priest must be evil to do that,” Sloan recounted, indicating a profound feeling of betrayal and hurt stemming from the incident.

Melissa Sloan with her facial tattoos are covered with makeup. | Facebook

The reason provided for her ejection was ostensibly her “singing too loud,” a justification Sloan disputes as unfair, citing the communal and participatory nature of the church service.

“They judged me because of my tattoos, they’re supposed to open the doors and not judge,” she lamented, underscoring a perceived deviation from the church’s mission of unconditional acceptance and love.

Sloan’s confrontation with exclusion extends beyond the church doors. She reveals having faced similar rejections at tattoo parlours, her own mother’s funeral, and even her children’s nativity play.

Such experiences, while not uncommon for individuals with extensive body art, strike a particularly dissonant chord when occurring in spaces meant to champion love, forgiveness, and community support.

The incident has shaken Sloan’s faith in the church, though not necessarily in spirituality or the teachings of Christianity itself.

Her story highlights a critical discourse on the essence of religious communities and the real-world application of doctrines like “love thy neighbour,”, especially in an era where expressions of identity and belief are increasingly diverse.

Sloan’s account, while singular, poses broader questions about acceptance, the role of appearance in spiritual spaces, and the church’s capacity to adapt to and embrace societal changes.

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