What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

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

Postby pilgrim » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:26 am

Sam Vara wrote: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?

It would matter a lot if one thinks there is a good chance that one would be reborn again. Just to take human birth is considered fortunate, then one hopes to encounter the Dhamma again.
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:32 am

pilgrim wrote:
Sam Vara wrote: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?

It would matter a lot if one thinks there is a good chance that one would be reborn again. Just to take human birth is considered fortunate, then one hopes to encounter the Dhamma again.



exactly my point, if you were reborn on earth and there was no more Dharma left...can you imagine how huge a setback would that be ? you may be locked for a few thousand lifetimes in the hellrealm because you harboured false views
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:44 am

exactly my point, if you were reborn on earth and there was no more Dharma left...can you imagine how huge a setback would that be ? you may be locked for a few thousand lifetimes in the hellrealm because you harboured false views



That's a pretty big speculation

I'm not one to subscribe to rebirth chit chat, however even if you have the view of being reborn after death isn't it a standard teaching that such a rebirth is unknowable


You could stop all Thai's from being Christian and still be reborn as a stingray ...


Also I'm not sure that holding the views of a Christian (depending on the denomination of course) would lead you to hellish states?

My mother is a Christian, she seems to be quite happy and content
“ 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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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:50 am

you may be locked for a few thousand lifetimes in the hellrealm because you harboured false views



Ironically this sounds very similar to something you would hear an evangelical say ... :?
“ 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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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:14 am

I think lot of easterner see Christianity as a posh life style.
They don’t see the misery behind closed doors!

Christians seems to enjoy the life.
They eat, drink, dress and live well.

Buddhism talks the opposite.

I am not sure whether Christians are following the Jesus Christ teaching.

I think one day Buddhism will survive thanks to west.
I see Ven. Thannisaro’s (Not to mention many other) effort as the modern day Thripitaka writing.
It is amaizing considering all those translation done by one man.

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

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:18 am

I think lot of easterner see Christianity as a posh life style.
They don’t see the misery behind closed doors!


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

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:35 am

clw_uk wrote:
I think lot of easterner see Christianity as a posh life style.
They don’t see the misery behind closed doors!


What misery?


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

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:48 am

SarathW wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
I think lot of easterner see Christianity as a posh life style.
They don’t see the misery behind closed doors!


What misery?


Dukkha. :)


I know that but you seemed to imply there was some misery in Christisanity that was behind closed doors?
“ 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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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby pilgrim » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:51 am

Mr Man wrote:
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


I think this article sampled a very small number which shows positive results, largely I believe, as the result of the excellent work by a single organisation among the english-speaking graduate population. The recent census of the general population shows a significant decrease in the Buddhist population. see:
http://ahandfulofleaves.net/dhamma/?p=1519

Singapore’s population increased by 611k (24%) from 2.5 million in Year 2000 to 3.1 million in Year 2010. During this period, the number of people who identified themselves as Buddhist actually fell from 555 k to 442 k.
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:53 am

Sorry I meant Christians. Please excuse me for my grammar. :)
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby chownah » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:58 am

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.

If Thailand turns into Swiss cheese, the holes will be filled with animism and superstition.
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:59 am

SarathW wrote:Sorry I meant Christians. Please excuse me for my grammar. :)



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

Postby dhammafriend » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:49 am

Singapore’s population increased by 611k (24%) from 2.5 million in Year 2000 to 3.1 million in Year 2010. During this period, the number of people who identified themselves as Buddhist actually fell from 555 k to 442 k.

Apparently the numbers were off from the start. Many people in Singapore with practiced Doaism were identifying themselves as Buddhists in the census data.
Will need to check on line for the article I saw that in.

As for Evangelicals and the most powerful nation on Earth, well this article explains it all. I urge everyone to read it.
http://rt.com/op-edge/north-korea-usa-cia-639/

The narratives we hear in the West usually is that missionaries pitch up in a 'heathen' country and the locals are so impressed with this teaching that they immediately jump ship and become happy little christians. The article above gives us a more sobering view. Religion and humanitarian assistance is used as a tool by the West to assert ideological, economic, cultural control over other nations. Missionaries are often all to happy to destroy the entire cultural fabric of a nation (not just the local religions) with US assistance.

As for animism and superstition: (these terms are so loaded with monotheistic baggage its not even funny) I've asked this before, from a buddhist point of view, what else about 'animism' & 'superstition' is 'backward'? besides the fact that it obstructs samma ditthi.

What makes a belief animists? According to my understanding the Buddha there is no sliding scale of wrong view (attachment to god, gods, spirits)
its all gotta go.

I think the dismissal of Thais and their beliefs (however wrong they may be) have a lot to do with their ethnicity.i.e.
Brown people superstition = bad White people superstition = good

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

Postby appicchato » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:41 pm

dhammafriend wrote:
...its all gotta go.

I think...


+1
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby chownah » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:10 pm

", what else about 'animism' & 'superstition' is 'backward'? besides the fact that it obstructs samma ditthi. "

I don't know if this should be considered backward or not so you be the judge: In Africa there is a superstition that deflowering a young virgin girl will cure you of HIV if you don't use a condom.

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

Postby dhammafriend » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:34 pm

I don't know if this should be considered backward or not so you be the judge: In Africa there is a superstition that deflowering a young virgin girl will cure you of HIV if you don't use a condom.

chownah


So now we jump to Africa when I was asking about the Thai context? This is my caveat: I understand that certain beliefs can be actively harmful
(like female genital mutilation etc) What i am asking is why can't the Thais (or any Asian nationality for that matter) retain (within reason) their own world views without constantly being berated by calling it superstition?! If you read the suttas, then everyone back then was superstitious! They believed that spirits inhabited trees, mountains etc. Even Lord Buddha taught dhamma from that perspective. (He even debated Baka Brahma who resided in a tree! )

No, the agenda here is much more insidious I believe.

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

Postby chownah » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:30 pm

dhammafriend wrote:
I don't know if this should be considered backward or not so you be the judge: In Africa there is a superstition that deflowering a young virgin girl will cure you of HIV if you don't use a condom.

chownah


So now we jump to Africa when I was asking about the Thai context? This is my caveat: I understand that certain beliefs can be actively harmful
(like female genital mutilation etc) What i am asking is why can't the Thais (or any Asian nationality for that matter) retain (within reason) their own world views without constantly being berated by calling it superstition?! If you read the suttas, then everyone back then was superstitious! They believed that spirits inhabited trees, mountains etc. Even Lord Buddha taught dhamma from that perspective. (He even debated Baka Brahma who resided in a tree! )

No, the agenda here is much more insidious I believe.

Dhammafriend

Dharma friend,
You asked what is wrong with animism and superstition so I gave you an example to consider. Looks like you judge some superstitions to be backward but you seem reluctant to straight forwarded say that. Your insistence on setting some geographic boundary on the consideration of the backwardness of animism and superstition does not convince me of much.

As to Asian superstitions(to try to stay in compliance with your "any Asian nationality" restriction) I can point to the use of bear bile extracted in very inhumane ways from caged bears or any number of uses of endangered species parts none of which have been shown in any way to have any therapeutic value....rhino horn for male potency does not work while Viagra does (showing the difference between superstition and science I hope).

As to Asians being constantly berated over their world views; I don't see that happening much here in Thailand. I do think that given what most people think of as "superstition" by westerners and easterners alike it really is true that many especially uneducated people do believe in superstitions and act on them and many times it is to their detriment.

I think that a good case can be made that some peoples religious belief can be another persons superstition and so one should be careful and avoid clinging to views and to observe views with discernment.......but......I also think that to try to paint animism and superstition as benign in all their manifestations is deluded......way deluded.

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

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:57 am

pilgrim wrote:
Sam Vara wrote: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?

It would matter a lot if one thinks there is a good chance that one would be reborn again. Just to take human birth is considered fortunate, then one hopes to encounter the Dhamma again.


Or it might matter not at all. One might, for example, hope for rebirth in (say) a nice Californian family of Caucasian ancestry who revere the Buddha's teachings, keep the precepts, and attend the monastery regularly. Who knows, if we are talking about counterfactuals, the majority of Californians might be like that when the time comes.

Presumably, if you believe in the non-randomness of rebirth then it is possible that one's Kamma might propel one towards an appropriate rebirth in any part of any universe. Or is there a supply-side problem?
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:05 am

Shaswata_Panja wrote:
pilgrim wrote:
Sam Vara wrote: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?

It would matter a lot if one thinks there is a good chance that one would be reborn again. Just to take human birth is considered fortunate, then one hopes to encounter the Dhamma again.



exactly my point, if you were reborn on earth and there was no more Dharma left...can you imagine how huge a setback would that be ? you may be locked for a few thousand lifetimes in the hellrealm because you harboured false views


Presumably, one's false views would not lead to rebirth in favourable circumstances anyway, so ruling Thailand (apparently a favoured destination for the discerning modern Buddhist) out of the question. Or maybe a lifetime of Christian benevolence might be what we deserve.

Who knows? It's all mere speculation, and I think we are better off wishing the Thais well, whether they are Buddhist, Christian, or Scientologists.
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Re: What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

Postby pulga » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:53 pm

With all the violence and intolerance Buddhists are displaying in places like Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Burma I get the impression that Buddhism is declining from within. Christians are crafty, but they mean well, and in a region fraught with religious conflict they have managed to stay above it all. Their wealth is part of their allure, but their example of tolerance and compassion plays a significant role in their influence.
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