What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby appicchato » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:03 pm

Dan74 wrote:...I fail to see the point of the whole thread...


Ditto...
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Jetavan » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:51 am

Shaswata_Panja wrote:A portion of Thervada Buddhists are still trying to hold onto their religion in Bangladesh inspite of genocidal pressures for hundreds of years
Do you mean to say that these Theravada Buddhists are not descendants of recent migrants from Sri Lanka or southeast Asia?
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:55 am

Shaswata_Panja wrote:There is a deep sense of commitment to the religion that it almost take racial undertones in the most extreme cases (Burma and SL)

.monks in Tibet are ready to self-immolate to protect their way of life which is intricately linked with nationalism


Ok, so you are talking about ethno-Buddhism, or Buddhism as part of a concept of national-ethnic-religious identity. Do you really think that is the most viable path for Buddhism in the long run? I can see at least a few disadvantages:

-- People associate Buddhism with reactionary, change-averse, intolerant politics
-- People associate it with authoritarian and corrupt political systems
-- Associated with a closed society, relative poverty, social inequity

Not to mention that it is not well-grounded in actual Buddhist teachings. Can you point to suttas which provide a doctrinal basis for Buddhism as a ethnonationalist construct?

People in Mahayana countries donot feel that their soul is being wrested away when Mahayana goes, because Shinto,Tao and Confu...are still present


Sorry to be a little pedantic, but if someone feels that he has a "soul" that is being wrested away, can that person really call himself a Buddhist in the first place? :shrug:
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:12 am

i meant identity obviously...but a deep rooted connection is needed with a tradition....even in Buddha's times kings were converted so that the republics support the movement..Bimbisara followed the Buddha while Ajatasatru followed Mahavira Jaina
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:17 am

Jetavan wrote:
Shaswata_Panja wrote:A portion of Thervada Buddhists are still trying to hold onto their religion in Bangladesh inspite of genocidal pressures for hundreds of years
Do you mean to say that these Theravada Buddhists are not descendants of recent migrants from Sri Lanka or southeast Asia?

They are not from Sri Lanka. They are Bengali. I know a number of Bangladeshi bhikkhus personally, as several have stayed for various periods of time at our Wat in New Zealand. I am planning to visit one of them at our "home" Wat in Bangkok this week.

I understand that it is very difficult for non-Muslims in Bangaladesh. But that is where these people are from. It's not as if they could just decide to move to Burma or Sri Lanka or Thailand (however much we'd like to think that would fix up the problems --- move the Bangladeshi Buddhists to Burma and the Burmese Muslims to Bangladesh, etc, --- where would it stop?). The bhikkhus have been able to spend time as guests in Sri Lanka and Thailand, but that's not an option for most lay people.

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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Jetavan » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:42 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Jetavan wrote:
Shaswata_Panja wrote:A portion of Thervada Buddhists are still trying to hold onto their religion in Bangladesh inspite of genocidal pressures for hundreds of years
Do you mean to say that these Theravada Buddhists are not descendants of recent migrants from Sri Lanka or southeast Asia?

They are not from Sri Lanka. They are Bengali. I know a number of Bangladeshi bhikkhus personally, as several have stayed for various periods of time at our Wat in New Zealand. I am planning to visit one of them at our "home" Wat in Bangkok this week.

I understand that it is very difficult for non-Muslims in Bangaladesh. But that is where these people are from. It's not as if they could just decide to move to Burma or Sri Lanka or Thailand (however much we'd like to think that would fix up the problems --- move the Bangladeshi Buddhists to Burma and the Burmese Muslims to Bangladesh, etc, --- where would it stop?). The bhikkhus have been able to spend time as guests in Sri Lanka and Thailand, but that's not an option for most lay people.

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Were the Bengali Buddhists able to maintain their own copies of the Tipitika, or a bhikkhu lineage (from pre-Muslim era up to today)?
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:05 am

That's a somewhat interesting question from a long-term historical interest perspective, but I don't see the relevance to the current discussion. As I understand it, Theravada Buddhism in Thailand, Laos, etc, postdates the Muslim era of the Indian subcontinent (and parts East, such as Malaya and Indonesia), and the ordination lineage in Sri Lanka had to be revived a few centuries ago.

I'm not sure of the history of Theravada in Bangladesh, but keep in mind that Bangladesh borders Burma and current borders in Asia have a lot to do with colonial power, particularly British, who controlled the Indian subcontinent, Burma, and Malaya, and had a strong influence in Thailand. That's the more relevant history to consider than the pre-Muslim era of the Indian subcontinent.

If you want to go back to the pre-Muslim era than you might want to argue that all the non-indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas, should be sent home. I'm not sure where you are, but it may well be one of those places... And please keep the times in perspective. I'm currently in Thailand, a few km from Bang Rajan, one of the last holdouts against the Burmese before they sacked Ayuttaya (which is just south of here, I visited some ruins yesterday). That was less than a decade before the rebellion of that bunch of colonists in North America against English rule...

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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:34 am

94-96% of the Muslims in Indian subcontinent stem from east of the Suleiman Range,Kirthar Range,Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass (to the hills seperating India from Burma)...so certainly they are indigenous

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2009/10/the-mostly-south-asian-origins-of-indian-muslims/


Islam is not a group of people, but an ideology that spreads very rapidly...and makes the former good cells turn rogue and destructive...a bit like cancer

But certainly Muslims are seen with a bit of disdain among a quite a large population (but certainly not the majority) of Indians, since they converted eventhough the others didnot in the face of tremendous atrocities......even the Bodhi tree and the Nalanda,Vikramshila complexes were not spared.....

Indian Hindus,Buddhists,Sikhs and Jains prize a lot indgenous faiths and cultures..That's why there is counter-drive to stop conversions of tribals in Chota Nagpur Plateau or the North-East (they are not classical Hindus BTW)...India regularly organizes conferences for various indigenous Pagans and Pagan revivalists from various parts of the world, be it the Samis of Scandanavia or Ayahuasca consuming tribes of South America...as the largest still-surviving Pagan culture on the planet in the face of Abrahamic onslaught, it is seen as duty by many of us......prime among the proponents of a Global Pagan revival and council was the late Ram Swarup, the brilliant Samkhya philosopher
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby dhammafriend » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:45 pm

Indian Hindus,Buddhists,Sikhs and Jains prize a lot indgenous faiths and cultures..That's why there is counter-drive to stop conversions of tribals in Chota Nagpur Plateau or the North-East (they are not classical Hindus BTW)...India regularly organizes conferences for various indigenous Pagans and Pagan revivalists from various parts of the world, be it the Samis of Scandanavia or Ayahuasca consuming tribes of South America...as the largest still-surviving Pagan culture on the planet in the face of Abrahamic onslaught, it is seen as duty by many of us......prime among the proponents of a Global Pagan revival and council was the late Ram Swarup, the brilliant Samkhya philosopher


Thats some interesting stuff Sashwata, any links to that? Check out this cool site, lot of interesting articles and podcasts: peopleofshambhala.com I agree with your general attitude that we should be vigilant of unethical conversions and cultural imperialism in general. My only caveat is that not all christian & Islamic movements are predatory (like the US Evangelical strains we see expanding) We should temper our responses based on that.

My policy , similar to yours is to have an actual discourse about it, not ignore the challenges that we face.Yes it is true that various predatory strains of E.C. have spread to Africa & Asia, we can see the horrible effects in the news everyday.In Africa, people who hold to traditional ways literally become scapegoats for E.C. inspired witch hunts. In S. Korea, temples are burned to ashes and openly attacked.

The solutions to these phenomena, I think, will need to come from within the dharmic / pagan traditions. Its a problem of 3 points:

Education: we need lay and professional members of dharmic traditions to be better educated about their traditions.
Leadership: leadership in dharmic communities that make a difference & can mobilize the public.
Discourse: we need to stop accepting the assumptions we've absorbed from the colonial experience. Question everything. Question what is regarded as normal. Especially the things that seem self explanatory. Understand that its not just a global culture war, but its linked to issues of racial superiority as well.

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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:06 pm

Hi All,

I just read an article that reminded me of this thread, re: the proposal of "Theravada Super State."

I now seem to get the impression that this idea is basically a re-framing of the idea of "Suvannabhumi," or "The Golden Land"... especially when I looked at Shawasta Panja's map, which consists of Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia.

This article was written by Eisel Mazard: Cambodia is not a province of Thailand

Especially interesting (but irrelevant to the topic at hand) is his interpretation of the story about venerables Sona and Uttara.

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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby dhammafriend » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:54 am

Thanks shaswata. Will explore those links. :namaste:

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