We worship God because he exists and because reverence and worship are the appropriate response to his revelation and his presence. “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Mt 4:10).
Worshipping God, however, is also beneficial to men, for it frees them from servitude to the powers of this world. When God is no longer worshipped and when he is no longer thought to be Lord over life and death, others assume that position and put human dignity at risk.
No one may force others to believe, not even one’s own children, just as no one may be forced to be an unbeliever. A person can make the decision to believe only in complete freedom. Christians, however, are called to help other people, by word and example, to find the way to faith.
Pope John Paul II said, “Proclaiming Christ and bearing witness to him, when done in a way that respects consciences, does not violate freedom. Faith demands a free adherence on the part of man, but at the same time faith must also be offered to him” (Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, 1990, no. 8).