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By Maria Wirth
Dalit Christians had filed a complaint with the United Nations against the Vatican because of caste based discriminationUnsplash
Some time ago, a news item caught my attention: Dalit Christians had filed a complaint with the United Nations against the Vatican because of caste based discrimination of the Catholic Church in India. The complaint was filed with the UN Information Centre at New Delhi.
It made me feel that a suggestion I had made in an earlier article was maybe not so outlandish and actually worthwhile. I had suggested that Hindus, Buddhists and others could file a complaint with the UN against Christianity and Islam, because Christianity considers non-Christians as heathen and Islam non-Muslims as infidels, and both these religions claim that heathen and infidels are unworthy of the grace of the Supreme Power and will be thrown into hellfire where they will suffer excruciating pain for all eternity. "Idol-worshippers" – Hindus are labeled as such – are the worst of the lot in the eyes of those religions.
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In the Bible, Mathew (13: 49/50) states:
"This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The Quran gives a more detailed description of the torture that awaits infidels:
"But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling fluid will be poured down their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning" (Quran 22:19-22)
Hindus generally have no malice towards other faiths and don't expect others to have malice towards their own faith. They readily pay respect to Bible and Christianity or to Quran and Islam without knowing what they contain. Usually they don't even notice that their respect is not reciprocated.
However, there are also those who know the content, but prefer to ignore unacceptable passages. One reason may be that they of course don't take them seriously and can't imagine that anybody takes them seriously. Unfortunately, they underestimate the power of indoctrination, especially in childhood. It is not only the ISIS types who believe (and act on it). I know from own experience that children believe what they are told and many don't question this belief even as adults.
Also Read: Hindu nationalists and The Hindutva Ideology
Another reason may be that they don't want to draw attention to those divisive, discriminating passages in books that are considered holy by the majority of the world's population. They fear they could remind 'believers' of their duty to fight the "unbelievers" or rather the "wrong believers" as Hindus are great believers in the Supreme and certainly not unbelievers.
However, this attitude won't work today, as the content of Quran, Bible and other scriptures is readily available on the net. It is easy to access any verse of the Bible or Quran. ISIS spread their views on the internet. The radicalization among Muslim youth often happens via the net. A cleric in a German mosque who had banned radicalized youth and declared ISIS as un-Islamic was described as an "old, confused man", by a German Turk, who 'knew' that ISIS is following the Quran. How did he know? "I and my friends have read the Quran", he declared. His friends are fighting for ISIS.
I didn't make the suggestion to complain to the UN because I expect much action from the UN. I made the suggestion mainly, because in this way the issue would hopefully come into mainstream discourse. People, including Christians and Muslims, need to realize how absurd and divisive this claim of "eternal hell for unbelievers" is.
Every second child in the world is taught that Hindus (and others) are not equal in the eyes of the Supreme GodUnsplash
The gravity of the situation needs to sink in: every second child in the world is taught that Hindus (and others) are not equal in the eyes of the Supreme God, and the child is likely to believe it. In fact, the child is taught that the Supreme hates those others so much that they will burn for all eternity in hellfire if they don't mend their ways and join the believers on the right path. Sri Krishna, Sri Rama, Sita, the Rishis, Swami Vivekananda, Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Narendra Modi, Aishwarya Rai, Sachin Tendulkar… just name them, each and every Hindu who ever lived – none will find mercy with the Highest. They all are thrown into the 'blazing furnace'.
People need to become aware that prophesizing eternal hell was a strategy to frighten the own followers into submission and to justify using force to either convert or wipe out those who 'insult the Supreme Power and don't accept the only truth'. This claim of "hell for unbelievers" is about power and influence and has nothing to do with eternal truth or morality.
If a small, crazy sect would claim that all others will burn in hell, one would understand if nobody takes note of such nonsense. But it is not a small sect that makes this claim. This claim is contained in the doctrines of the two most powerful religious institutions on earth with almost four billion followers. Mercifully, many Christians especially in Europe don't believe it anymore, but it is part of the Christian dogma.
Is one allowed to call this claim nonsense – in the age of quantum physics where it is known that ultimately all is connected and nothing is separate?
Strangely, Hindus keep quiet. They may hope it goes away. It won't go away without those who are demeaned in this unacceptable manner putting their foot down. Why should those who benefit from this claim give it up as long as nobody objects?
The Church had once to give in to protests: it lost the power to punish heretics and even had to allow Christians to leave the Church. Ever since, the Church lost many of its flock and the west came out of the Dark Age, but the damage was done nevertheless: arrogance and a feeling of superiority was already ingrained in the people and nature had been divested of its sacredness and still is treated as a slave to be exploited.
The dogmatic religions uprooted people from their pagan societies and made them slowly but surely arrogant, self-righteous and convinced that they are meant to rule the world in the name of their god. Would colonialism in its brutal form have been possible without the mindset that Christians are superior to the native heathen? Would Muslim invasions have been so cruel without the mindset that Allah wants them to smite the necks of infidels till all worship is only for Allah?
Today's most pressing problem, Islamic terrorism, has its roots in the claim that infidels are rejected by Allah. ISIS, Boko Haram and others consider it their sacred duty to rid the earth of such scum.
Christianity stopped killing heathen but still does great harm in so called 'unreached areas' for example in India, where it deceives, threatens and lures people away from their tolerant, inclusive tradition into an arrogant, divisive mindset.
Some followers of Islam still kill. They are called Islamists instead of Muslims. But as long as the Quran contains verses that seem to be exhortations to kill infidels, and no official correction is made that these verses refer only to history, there is insincerity in the claim that they are not Muslims. On one hand we condemn those youth in the strongest terms and on the other, we revere the scripture which they claim to follow.
When Donald Trump declares that he won't allow Muslims into the USA if he becomes President, he may cater to a populist sentiment among Americans but this is no solution. A better strategy would be to make Muslims disown certain passages in the Quran. At the same time, Christians must be made to disown certain passages in the Bible. Blind belief that the Supreme has revealed the truth only to Jesus or only to Mohammed must be allowed to be questioned without putting one's life in danger.
Pope interacting with publicUnsplash
The Pope said recently in Africa "Christians and Muslims are brothers". It sounded more like "Let's live and let live". Yet when the Pope was in India, he didn't make such conciliatory statement. He said "we will plant the cross in Asia". Why? Did he think the "mild" Hindus won't object to their own demise? Or did he behave like a bully to put Hindus on the defensive?
If Christianity really had the better truth, it would be okay. But this is not the case. The supremacy that the Church claims has no basis except in blind belief. In the same way, the supremacy that Islam claims has also no basis except in blind belief. Both faiths can't challenge each other. A debate between Christianity and Islam would go like this:
Christianity: "We alone have the full truth"
Islam: "We alone have the full truth."
Christianity: "God has revealed the full truth through his son Jesus"
Islam: "Allah has revealed the final truth through Prophet Mohammed."
Christianity: "All have to worship God, the father, via his son."
Islam: "All have to worship Allah."
However, in one point both agree: "Heathen and infidels need to disappear from the earth."
In contrast, 'Hinduism seeks to propagate the collective wisdom and inspiration of centuries and has room for all forms of beliefs' (according to the Supreme Court). It offers a profound philosophy. It can bring to the table the wisdom of the ancient Rishis that has never been disproven. This wisdom points to the absolute truth, which dogmatic religions are ignorant of: Truth is not a belief based on thoughts. It is what we all truly are – thought free, blissful awareness.
One would expect that humanity in the 21st century has outgrown blasphemy laws. This is not the case. Not only is there no pressure on countries that have blasphemy laws to abandon them, but – unbelievable, but true – there are attempts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to bring the whole world under a blasphemy law.
Several nations, like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, have petitioned the UN to make defamation of Islam a crime. And even President Obama and Hillary Clinton supported a resolution (Istanbul Process 16/18) to curb 'Islamophobia'. Efforts to go further and ban criticism of Islam are surely still on.
Nations that have a majority Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist population like India, China, Japan, Thailand, etc. could join and not only throw a spammer into these efforts but actively weaken their case by demanding a stop to unacceptable claims. Though "idol-worshipping Hindus" are seen as most despicable, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Atheists also don't pass muster in the eyes of Christianity and Islam.
It is high that time Hindus woke up. Filing a petition with the UN might make even Christians and Muslims aware that these claims are truly unacceptable and that Hindus are not the scum of this earth and have a right to exist.
UNICEF also should be petitioned that brainwashing of children into hatred for others is made a crime. The video of a child in ISIS land cutting the throat of his teddy bear as practice is horrendous. A lot of noise needs to be made about those petitions. Christianity and Islam must not get away with discrediting Hindu Dharma. Let there be a public discourse on which worldview is closer to the truth, and which religion has a better philosophical basis.
Actually it is so obvious even at a first glance: the choice is between brotherhood of all without any preconditions and fighting each other till all become uniform 'believers'.
Let's choose brotherhood of all. And please also include animals…
Key Words: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, The Pope, Dalit Community, United Nations
I had the pleasure to meet you at a conference and you came across as likeable and intelligent. And I felt, we had in common that we both grew up as Christians but realized that Hindu or Sanatana Dharma is the better option.
That's why I was surprised by your tweet:
"I am a Christian by my faith but Hindu by my roots. That's me. You cannot accept this fact about me, then it is your problem, not mine."
Most Hindus don't know the essence of the Christian faith, and you may have thought you get away with this? Or maybe you yourself don't know the essence??
Here it is in short:
The essence of Christianity is that Christians have the right faith and will be saved and Hindus have the wrong faith and will be damned forever. And from this follows that missionaries who dedicate their lives to save Hindu souls by getting them baptized, are doing a great job.
Also Read : The Veneration of Women in Hinduism
You would know about the claim "There is no salvation outside of the Church". However, hopefully, you won't take it seriously and for you "Christian faith" may basically mean seeing Jesus Christ as your guide and object of devotion, as Hindus are devoted to Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Devi….
To feel devotion for Jesus is of course fine. No Hindu has any objection. They would see you as belonging to Sanatana Dharma, which accepts many different ways to connect with the ultimate Cause of our existence, whom the Vedas call Brahman or Tat. But to declare devotion for Jesus as "Christian faith" is not honest, because it's not true. Other conditions apply.
I am a Christian by my faith but Hindu by my roots.Unsplash
You would know that, as a Christian, you don't have the option to pick and choose. You have to accept the whole doctrine of the "faith" which you may have repeated in Sunday mass umpteen times, and this doctrine postulates the exclusivity of the 'one Lord Jesus Christ, the only son of God…. For us men and our salvation, he came down from heaven…" (Nicene Creed)
So you owe an explanation to Hindus what you mean by "I am Christian by my faith".
If an amiable and influential person like you stands openly by his Christian faith, it will confirm Hindus in their belief, that all religions are the same, and it's only people who misunderstand their religion, who give trouble to Hindus and not certain tenets of the religion itself.
Yet the problem is precisely with the doctrine that "there is no salvation outside of the Church".
Please do clarify in a public post, whether you agree with this crucial tenet that there is no salvation outside of the Church and that, by extension, missionaries do a good job.
Yes, most missionaries really believe that they do a great job.
I am sure, you don't believe this. But please…. say it openly.
And hopefully you won't mind my plain speak…
Keywords : tweet, letter, response, faith, belief, Hinduism, Christianism, devotion, doctrine.
Hindu American Foundation (HAF) Releases Online Forms for Second Bullying Survey of Hindu American Youth
- The Hindu American Foundation from the US aims to inform the society about Hinduism
- The Foundation is responsible for various research and reports on Hindus all over the world
- The website of the foundation has released forms for further survey of bullying of Hindu American Youth
New Delhi, August 18, 2017: nonprofit organization for Hindu community in America, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) works for the well-being of Hindus and spread the Hindu philosophy.
Earlier this year, the Hindu American Foundation had published a report titled ‘Hindus in South Asia and Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2017’. The report was an extensive research work that enlisted the numerous incidents of Human Rights violations against Hindus in various countries.
Now the HAF is coming out with its second survey of Hindu American youth being bullied in American schools. To reach out to the masses and get the widest survey outreach, their website has released a form. The responses from these forms will be compiled and reported. The second survey will be published next year.
The deadline for the form is until 1st December 2017. The form can be accessed here.
Last year the foundation came out with its first survey report of Hindu American youth being bullied. The survey was titled ‘Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias against Hindu Students in American Schools’ which had concluded that Hindu American students continue to be bullied and feel socially ostracized for their religious beliefs.”
In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background.
But the report’s objectives were successful. It was a recommended resource at the state as well as federal level.
Bullying is one of the biggest social evils that face our society. With this survey, HAF aims to highlight and combat bullying of the minority on the basis of their religion.
– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394
- Dr Balvinder Mehat, 61, is accused of circumcising the tot without his mother’s consent for religious reasons in July 2013
- The operation took place when the baby, whose parents are separated, was taken to visit his paternal grandparents
- The 26-year-old mother complained to Nottinghamshire police but they deemed it not to be a criminal matter
London, June 24, 2017: An Indian-origin doctor has been arrested by the police in East Midlands region of England for the circumcision of a three-month-old baby boy without his mother’s approval.
Dr Balvinder Mehat, 61, is accused of circumcising the tot without his mother’s consent for religious reasons in July 2013, the Mirror reported on Friday.
The operation took place when the baby, whose parents are separated, was taken to visit his paternal grandparents. The doctor is alleged to have carried out the procedure before the tot was returned to his mother later the same day.
The 26-year-old mother complained to Nottinghamshire police but they deemed it not to be a criminal matter and the case was referred to the General Medical Council.
But the case was reopened after the mother got help from an anti-circumcision group and a human rights lawyer.
Dr Mehat, from the Bakersfield Medical Centre in Nottingham, was arrested and questioned on suspicion of committing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Apart from him, a 44-year-old man and a woman, 47, were also arrested on “suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm”.
They are believed to be the boy’s paternal grandparents, police said.
All three people, who denied any wrongdoing, were released pending further investigation, the report said.
The boy’s mother said circumcision amounts to male genital mutilation and said her son, now aged four, has suffered recurring physical problems, including inflammation and water infections post the act. (IANS)