What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

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What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:16 pm

We all read the huge controversy the book "From Buddha to Jesus" generated and the subsequent furore regarding Ven. S.Dhammika's review...It cannot be denied that there is a massive and sophisticated program to evangelize Thai society and the outlay of such programs go into hundreds of millions of dollars to ven more than a billion...Christians are much more sophisticated than Muslims in evangelizing, who (the Muslims) only now have crude tools such as violence and terrorism and fatwas to resort to....Christians can in a very sophisticated manner breakdown the psychological defence of a nation by infiltrating in all aspects of a culture ..Look at how many Buddhist women in Thailand and in many parts of Buddhist Asia dream of a "White Christian Church wedding"..It can be argued that Thailand is the most sincere Buddhist nation (Theravada or otherwise) that have had a fair modicum of success in economic modernization ..It has a flourishing car manufacturing and heavy motorcycle manufacturing industry...one of the world's best tourism industry...the donations made by lay Thai followers in Thailand or overseas is most critical in the sustenance of the Dhamma....We can evidence that from the fact that so many great Western monks prefer to spend their contemplative life in Thailand or go back there heavily...the few who are outside Thailand also prefer to spend their contemplative life in monasteries following the Thai Forest Tradition...If they ever fail to set up newer monasteries in the unreached West, they can always and sometimes do go back to Thailand...The Thai Buddhists have also donated generously 320kg of gold to coat the Mahabodhi temple spire..TBut foreign and domestic evangelical missionaries equipped with more money than Buddhists are not sitting still...they are lustily looking at Thailand like an evil man looks at his neighbour's beautiful wife and tries to have her for himself....

We all know the surreptious methods that the evangelicals employ...They use fraud, inducements and threat of eternal hellfire to convert people rapidly to Christianity....This makes the certain sections of Thai society vulnerable to them...

and we all know the attitude of the leaders of Western Nations...Western Nations have for the most part become atheist (which is absolutely great IMO as this means less attack on Dharmic nations)...but Western leaders donot mind such rabid and vociferous christian missionaries going out to Asia ...because missionary work is seen as an effective arm of foreign policy in terms of gaining influence on such countries..its a neo-imperialist approach..thats why you see atheist Western leaders having no qualms about sharing the dias with missionaries in Jesus festivals or Christivals across Europe and US where they share success stories about converting pagan Buddhists..for decades evangelical missionaries and the Catholic Church have acted as the best spy networks for US and other allied powers..Catholic Church plotted with US to bring down communism in Poland and the larger Soviet Union

What repercussions will it have on Global Dhamma if in 30-50 years Thailand becomes majority Christian nation (their proximity with US makes this a not-so-far-etched idea, look how Christianity is exploding in Africa)..Its not a distant reality....S. Korea in less than a generation became a significant Christian and culturally a Christian majority nation


What should Buddhists especially those out of Thailand and Sri Lanka do to help them to stem this tide? Can Buddhists ever penetrate foreign cultures in the MODERN ERA like Evangelical Christianity is doing in Africa,China and huge swathes of India and rest of Asia?

Your comments please...I love all Dharmic religions...and I want to do absolutely everything possible so that Dharmic religions survive my generation so that I can pass onto the next..do most of you share such motivations?
Last edited by Shaswata_Panja on Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby chownah » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:03 pm

It is more likely that Thailand would turn into Swiss cheese.
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby pilgrim » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:15 pm

chownah wrote:It is more likely that Thailand would turn into Swiss cheese.
chownah

Not too long ago, Korean and Singaporean Buddhists were equally dismissive. Not anymore.
Nowadays, Asian Buddhists are increasingly concerned, esp in Sri Lanka.
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:43 pm

Thailand is a thoroughly Buddhist country, and while concerns about evangelical movements in Thailand are real, and not to be dismissed, my limited exposure in Thailand has been that the Xtian organizations have gained a foothold, but nothing materially more. Thailand's Buddhism is at the core of its essence, from the monarchy, the culture, politics, through the network of wats that run through the country. There are Xtian organizations, such as private schools and health care ventures, but they seem to be limited. The Xtians in Thailand are following the playbook carefully, setting up NGOs, schools and other services in Thailand, and they do a decent job of it, too, but the influence seems to be blocked by the formidable penetration of Thai Buddhism in every corner of the culture. I just don't see Xtianity taking over the younger members of the population the way it has, say, in Korea.
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Mr Man » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:32 pm

pilgrim wrote:
chownah wrote:It is more likely that Thailand would turn into Swiss cheese.
chownah

Not too long ago, Korean and Singaporean Buddhists were equally dismissive. Not anymore.
Nowadays, Asian Buddhists are increasingly concerned, esp in Sri Lanka.


This is five years old but....

Buddhism fastest growing religion in Singapore http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=57,6458,0,0,1,0#.UtbF5WeYapo
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby culaavuso » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:46 pm

Shaswata_Panja wrote:Your comments please...I love all Dharmic religions...and I want to do absolutely everything possible so that Dharmic religions survive my generation so that I can pass onto the next..do most of you share such motivations?


All compound things are impermanent. Each individual can practice well, allowing others to see the benefits of the practice through their example. Through inspiring those who can benefit from the teaching, the teaching can spread when it is shared with those who are inspired and become interested in learning more. If focus is placed on attachment to where the teaching thrives, or how many other people are following the teaching, then even if it survives the greed for a situation where it is spreading and thriving may undermine the value of the message.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn16/sn16.013.than.html
SN16.13: Sadhammapatirupaka Sutta wrote:"These five downward-leading qualities tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five? There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live without respect, without deference, for the Teacher. They live without respect, without deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration. These are the five downward-leading qualities that tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma.

"But these five qualities tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five? There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live with respect, with deference, for the Teacher. They live with respect, with deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration. These are the five qualities that tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma."
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:51 pm

awesome point culavaaso ..we should not be to attached to where the teaching thrives and try to see that value of the message is not undermined
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby plwk » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:00 pm

What should Buddhists especially those out of Thailand and Sri Lanka do to help them to stem this tide? Can Buddhists ever penetrate foreign cultures in the MODERN ERA like Evangelical Christianity is doing in Africa,China and huge swathes of India and rest of Asia?

What should Buddhists do? Why, the less travelled road of course...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"It's not the earth property that makes the true Dhamma disappear. It's not the water property... the fire property... the wind property that makes the true Dhamma disappear. It's worthless people who arise right here [within the Sangha] who make the true Dhamma disappear.
The true Dhamma doesn't disappear the way a boat sinks all at once.

"These five downward-leading qualities tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five?
There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live without respect, without deference, for the Teacher.
They live without respect, without deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration.
These are the five downward-leading qualities that tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma.

"But these five qualities tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five?
There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live with respect, with deference, for the Teacher.
They live with respect, with deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration.
These are the five qualities that tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them.
They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.'
That's how you should train yourselves."

Sugata Vinaya (Saddhamma Sammosa Sutta) Sutta
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:24 pm

Shaswata_Panja wrote:We all read the huge controversy the book "From Buddha to Jesus" generated and the subsequent furore regarding Ven. S.Dhammika's review...

Here's the review:
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... tbPUJUS1jA
And the Author's blog:
http://buddhabook.org/bookblog/?p=64

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

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:45 pm

If you'd ever been to Thailand you'd know how little impact missionaries have had there, I think they consider Thailand a very difficult nut to crack.

If Thailand ever did become a majority Christian nation I think it would be a good thing, it would mean a reduction of animism and superstition, it would mean Buddhism in Thailand would have to reform itself and revive itself.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:35 pm

Goofaholix wrote:If you'd ever been to Thailand you'd know how little impact missionaries have had there, I think they consider Thailand a very difficult nut to crack.

If Thailand ever did become a majority Christian nation I think it would be a good thing, it would mean a reduction of animism and superstition, it would mean Buddhism in Thailand would have to reform itself and revive itself.



I donot see animism and superstition being any better or worse than believing in Jesus
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:09 pm

Would it matter all that much, even if it were likely? Things change. Europe used to be the epicentre for certain forms of Christianity which now flourish more in what were once European colonies. British Christianity now welcomes pastors and priests from Ghana and the Philippines, who proselytise to us home-grown white heathen. It might be comforting to know that there are populous nations like Thailand which are overwhelmingly Buddhist, but how much does this benefit my actual practice? If Thais were to decide that the strain of Buddhism which sustained their ancestors was no longer appropriate for them, then who am I to lament the fact?
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:15 pm

Though unlikely that Thailand would go Christian, if it did, the likelihood would be that it be evangelical, fundamentalist, and very aggressive, as we see on South Korea.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:22 pm

Anything could happen. Things change. But in this case, it's unlikely any time in the near future. I'm being deliberately vague because I don't know enough about the subject to give a tidy answer.

I remember in a sutta somewhere the Buddha said that fortune-telling was one of the most vile of all professions. :stirthepot:

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

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:30 pm

Mkoll wrote:Anything could happen.
Ajahn Chah once said something about if he became a Xtian and it should mean to his followers. If someone could fish that out, that might be of interest.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby appicchato » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:32 pm

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

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:18 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Mkoll wrote:Anything could happen.
Ajahn Chah once said something about if he became a Xtian and it should mean to his followers. If someone could fish that out, that might be of interest.



These are all the Dhammatalks he gave where Christianity came up that I can think of, although I don't think any of them are the specific one you're thinking of.



It was Christmas and the foreign monks had decided to celebrate it. They invited some laypeople as well as Ajahn Chah to join them. The laypeople were generally upset and skeptical. Why, they asked, were Buddhists celebrating Christmas? Ajahn Chah then gave a talk on religion in which he said, "As far as I understand, Christianity teaches people to do good and avoid evil, just as Buddhism does, so what is the problem? However, if people are upset by the idea of celebrating Christmas, that can be easily remedied. We won’t call it Christmas. Let’s call it ‘Christ-Buddhamas’. Anything that inspires us to see what is true and do what is good is proper practice. You may call it any name you like."


-Paragraph 179

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_ ... n_Chah.htm


Like those Christians who came today. They just said one thing. They said one thing that was full of meaning. ''One day we will meet again in the place of ultimate truth.'' Just this one statement was enough. Those were the words of a wise person. No matter what kind of Dhamma we learn, if we don't realize the ultimate truth (paramatthadhamma) in our hearts, we won't reach satisfaction.


-Even One Word is Enough

http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Even_One_Word_Is.php

And here's a story given by one of his students, Thanissara.

As a woman, I couldn't have a lot of contact with Ajahn Chah, and I couldn't be sent to study with Ajahn Sumedho either. Instead, Ajahn Chah suggested I practice with the American nun, Kum Fah. Kum Fah was very inspiring to me. When I left Thailand, I decided to ordain as a nun in England at Chithurst. After a time, Ajahn Sumedho organized a group from England to return to Thailand. One of the things we were looking forward to was reconnecting with this very inspiring nun. To our surprise, we found that Kum Fah had become a rabid born-again Christian. It was very distressing to see that this person had become so different than before. Furthermore, she was very keen on putting down Ajahn Chah and converting us to her views. Ajahn Sumedho went to Ajahn Chah very upset about the way Kum Fah behaved. Ajahn Chah simply said to Ajahn Sumedho, "Well, maybe she's right."


-The Life and Teachings of Ajahn Chah

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha299.htm




Happy uposatha everyone.

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

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:24 pm

Here's a picture I took in Nong Khai a few years ago:
Image
http://www.thai-blogs.com/2007/05/05/ma ... -thailand/

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

Postby SarathW » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:47 pm

I think Christians are more worried about what if whole world turns into a Buddhist majority planet!! :)

See the OP:
Did Arthur C. Clark say this?

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=16297
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:40 pm

What repercussions will it have on Global Dhamma if in 30-50 years Thailand becomes majority Christian nation (their proximity with US makes this a not-so-far-etched idea, look how Christianity is exploding in Africa)..Its not a distant reality....S. Korea in less than a generation became a significant Christian and culturally a Christian majority nation



Well the Dhamma will be forgotten someday ...

Don't get be wrong I'm not a big fan of Evangelical Christianity, for various reasons, however if people want to be Christian how can you stop them?


The best bulwark against Christianity are the teachings of anicca, dukkha and anatta so maybe more emphasis on putting this across in Thailand is needed? However I doubt that 90% of Thailand is really Buddhist anyway, even before the missionaries.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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