What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

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

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:05 pm

Presumably, one's false views would not lead to rebirth in favourable circumstances anyway,


That depends

I cant see how a Christian who takes the sermon on the mount as his core guide could lead himself to hellish states

After all the Buddha said that other teachers also teach aspects of Dhamma and are establised in virtue, they just dont teach all of it (usually they get stuck on "Self" etc)





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
.

Agreed

All we can do is promote critical thinking

Those that will recognise Dhamma will recognise it, those who dont wont and we can only hope that those who dont adopt a wholesome view point and not an unwholesome one

The view is only as important as the actions it leads to
“ 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
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

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

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:10 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Presumably, one's false views would not lead to rebirth in favourable circumstances anyway,


That depends

I cant see how a Christian who takes the sermon on the mount as his core guide could lead himself to hellish states

After all the Buddha said that other teachers also teach aspects of Dhamma and are establised in virtue, they just dont teach all of it (usually they get stuck on "Self" etc)





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
.

Agreed

All we can do is promote critical thinking

Those that will recognise Dhamma will recognise it, those who dont wont and we can only hope that those who dont adopt a wholesome view point and not an unwholesome one

The view is only as important as the actions it leads to


Yes, I didn't mean that a person practicing Christian religion had false views - far from it. I agree with you entirely about the sermon on the mount.

My point was in response to Shaswata_Panja's comment:

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


If one has false views, and they are taken to be important in deciding rebirth, then the possible Christianising of Thailand would be a non-issue anyway...
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 949
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

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

Postby culaavuso » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:23 pm

Shaswata_Panja wrote:if you were reborn on earth and there was no more Dharma left...can you imagine how huge a setback would that be ?


AN6.20
AN6.20: Maranassati Sutta wrote:Further, there is the case where a monk, as night departs and day returns, reflects: 'Many are the [possible] causes of my death. A snake might bite me, a scorpion might sting me, a centipede might bite me. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. Stumbling, I might fall; my food, digested, might trouble me; my bile might be provoked, my phlegm... piercing wind forces [in the body] might be provoked. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me.' Then the monk should investigate: 'Are there any evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by me that would be an obstruction for me were I to die during the day?' If, on reflecting, he realizes that there are evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die during the day, then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his turban or head, in the same way the monk should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities.


SN56.48
SN56.48: Chiggala Sutta wrote:"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"
culaavuso
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

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

Postby visitin » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:52 am

Shaswata_Panja wrote:Christians can in a very sophisticated manner breakdown the psychological defence of a nation by infiltrating in all aspects of a culture


What you're calling the "psychological defence" of a nation, is actually the "resistance offered by the priests" of a nation towards any proselytizer who might lure the laity into supporting his cause, leaving the priests unemployed.
visitin
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:48 pm

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

Postby Sovietnik » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:11 pm

Christianity is simpler to follow than Buddhism and it's also backed by so called soft power. Christian countries are the most developed region in the world, we have highly developed economies, culture etc. People have always been fascinated by higher cultures. All ancient barbarians wanted to dress and live like the Romans. Nowdays it's the same - pure cultural power - young people dress in clothing made by American companies, listen to American bands, watch Hollywood movies. How many people watch Thai or Sri Lankan movies? Few if any.

Some young people in India already grow up speaking only English and have no or only very basic knowledge of their native languages (I actually wish I was a native English speaker instead of a Slav) .

This shows the power of economy - economy gives ideologies power. The spread of Christianity is simply non coercive cultural imperialism.

Anyway, I think that if Buddhist countries became Christian, we could simply merge the two ideologies - in roughly the same manner as stoicism and Aristotle's philosophy were incorporated into the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. But maybe fundies are less likely to accept this.
User avatar
Sovietnik
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:03 pm

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

Postby Kusala » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:24 am

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...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?


You might want to read this ---->The Difficulty of Evangelizing in Thailand http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-c-s ... 37160.html
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
User avatar
Kusala
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:02 am

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

Postby Dan74 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:29 am

Shaswata, I can only shake my head reading your clever and articulate diatribe.

Your portrayal of Christian missionaries as evil and manipulative is yours. Your belief that missionary work is part of Western foreign policy is yours too. Neither is grounded in fact but in speculation and projection.

If one is grounded in Dhamma practice, a missionary is not going to succeed. But when all one has from Dhamma is superstition and ritual, then Christianity is a better alternative.

The solution, in my opinion, is to make Dhamma teachings of good quality in approachable format widely available to people, foster solid practice communities and good Dhamma activities, rather than cultivating hateful thoughts about Christianity and the West.
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2626
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

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

Postby rowboat » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:06 pm

Your belief that missionary work is part of Western foreign policy is yours too. Neither is grounded in fact but in speculation and projection.


Sadly there is a long and sordid history of Christian missionary deep involvement in Western colonialism/imperialism.

Evangelicals and American Foreign Policy Mark R Amstutz (Oxford University Press)

Thy Will Be Done – The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett

In 1996, veteran journalists Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett published their classic book “Thy Will Be Done – The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil,” which painstakingly documented the incestuous relationship between the US intelligence apparatus and the private religious sphere. Specifically, the book illuminated the personal and professional friendship of Nelson Rockefeller and William Cameron “Cam” Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, the world’s largest fundamentalist missionary group. Colby and Dennett write:

“…many clergy became direct collaborators with the CIA. One member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) was proud of this collaboration. William Carlsen, a missionary in northeastern Thailand, considered it "a privilege to share information with responsible agencies of the government where they seek us out." Carlsen gave an eight-hour briefing to the CIA on Thailand's tribal areas when he returned home for a furlough. Most C&MA missionaries did likewise, according to a CIA source. Most of the information gleaned was about people, their actions, opinions, and grievances.”

Merely one example pulled from a rich history of such collaborations, the above excerpt demonstrates not only the interaction between the Agency and Christian missionaries, but some of the ways in which they were utilized. Because of their hands-on experience with indigenous peoples and cultures, the missionaries were used to map the human and cultural geography of disparate groups, facilitating the creation of a vast intelligence database to be used for covert action.

As the connections between the CIA and religious groups such as Wycliffe and its associated Summer Institutes of Linguistics (SIL) had become known, the public perception of this relationship became very worrisome. So, as Colby and Dennet write:

“President Nixon's director of [US]AID, John Hannah, had admitted publicly that AID had funded CIA operations in Laos, and subsequent revelations pointed to CIA-AID collaboration in Ecuador, Uruguay, Thailand and the Philippines.

http://rt.com/op-edge/north-korea-usa-cia-639/
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
User avatar
rowboat
 
Posts: 428
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:31 am
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia

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

Postby dhammafriend » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:43 pm

Dan74 wrote:Shaswata, I can only shake my head reading your clever and articulate diatribe.

Your portrayal of Christian missionaries as evil and manipulative is yours. Your belief that missionary work is part of Western foreign policy is yours too. Neither is grounded in fact but in speculation and projection.

If one is grounded in Dhamma practice, a missionary is not going to succeed. But when all one has from Dhamma is superstition and ritual, then Christianity is a better alternative.

The solution, in my opinion, is to make Dhamma teachings of good quality in approachable format widely available to people, foster solid practice communities and good Dhamma activities, rather than cultivating hateful thoughts about Christianity and the West.


Dear Dan74, may I remind you that superstition is a universal trait found in all faiths, including Christianity. Currently in the US there are parents on trial for letting their kids die from preventable diseases because of their Christian faith. And thats just the surface, Christian camps set up to beat the living sh*t of of LGBT kids to turn them straight all for Jesus. Sexual predators as pastors, snake handling, violent exorcisms (often resulting in death), pastors making people eat grass, the list goes on my friend.

No one is saying that Christians are evil, but some empathy and respect would be great towards non-Christians. Please have a read through the links below. I am currently hearing horror stories of evangelism in Thailand: Pre and Primary schools are being set up by Christians with the intent to minister to other peoples children without their knowledge or consent. I believe that any person has the right to spread their faith to all people, but their rights end where the rights of the other person begins. This I believe is what i believe Christian missionaries have largely failed to accept.

Please check out these links below with some interesting propaganda and news, take your time and maybe come back with a bit of metta.

Interesting tale here, if your religion is 'true' why do you need to spread lies?
http://bibleprobe.com/backfromthedead.htm

Some aggressive fun here. The videos have been removed but they are very interesting articles.
http://waynedhamma.blogspot.com/2010/02 ... dhism.html
http://dhammaprotector.blogspot.com/201 ... dhism.html

This is an Indian based news source with interesting stories.
http://www.crusadewatch.org/index.php

This one below and is actually quite common. All without the parent's knowledge of course.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyat ... teachings/

with metta
Dhammafriend
User avatar
dhammafriend
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:19 am

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

Postby dhammafriend » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:58 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....


I agree and I have a contact in Thailand that has told me as much. This is not a mom and pop operation with kind people going door to door. This is a billion dollar industry supported by many Western governments / political parties. Just look at Uganda etc with the ant gay bills at the moment. Kony 2012 was also an evangelical effort aimed at the poor African heathens. :) As for Islam, I was raised in a Muslim home and can tell you that Muslims are naive with regards to other faiths. They are only really aware of the other two Abrahamic traditions. The rest are all pagans to them. I find that when Muslims actually being to interact with Dharmic traditions/people, they often become more accepting than some Christians. That is, if they get past their 'One True God' conceit.

Dhammafriend
User avatar
dhammafriend
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:19 am

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

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:54 pm

dhammafriend wrote:
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....


I agree and I have a contact in Thailand that has told me as much. This is not a mom and pop operation with kind people going door to door. This is a billion dollar industry supported by many Western governments / political parties. Just look at Uganda etc with the ant gay bills at the moment. Kony 2012 was also an evangelical effort aimed at the poor African heathens. :) As for Islam, I was raised in a Muslim home and can tell you that Muslims are naive with regards to other faiths. They are only really aware of the other two Abrahamic traditions. The rest are all pagans to them. I find that when Muslims actually being to interact with Dharmic traditions/people, they often become more accepting than some Christians. That is, if they get past their 'One True God' conceit.

Dhammafriend


first of all excellent contribution rowboat


my most positive interactions with Muslims have been those from Iran..the most negative are those who are my immediate neighbours...Pakistan and Bangladesh---(and to think of that the greatest Vihara in the subcontinent was the Somapura Vihara constructed by the Buddhist Palas)

Their abhorrence of "but parasti" (Murti Puja-crudely put into English as Idol Worship...btw that word comes from Buddha and the plethora of Buddha statues that dotted Afghanistan before Arab conquerors of Iran encountered them) is too much and that dislike is non-negotiable...They are just awesomely/awfully taken aback that there are Dharmic traditions like Buddhism,Jainism and Samkhya which are non-theistic/atheistic..most of them cannot get their head around that...even the "nishkriya"/inert Pure Conciousness OR Atman of NDV is something they struggle to come to terms with...........................................................................................But I have had the most fruitful discussions with overseas Iranians who want to rediscover their Zoroastrian past


This is also a good website

http://www.christianaggression.org/



But many of my generation see that New Atheism and Evangelical Christianity are just conjoined twins....it's a ploy of the imperialists to show that as if we have a choice...Same happened in the communist and Cold War era----------

It's surprising to think how many millions of East Asians, SE Asians, Africans and Afghans died in the whole Cold-War Era even though the ideologies of Cold-War were native to neither of these countries...BTW these nations constituted well over 90% of the Cold War conflict casualties
Shaswata_Panja
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:49 pm

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

Postby dhammafriend » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:27 pm

Shaswata_Panja wrote:my most positive interactions with Muslims have been those from Iran..the most negative are those who are my immediate neighbours...Pakistan and Bangladesh---(and to think of that the greatest Vihara in the subcontinent was the Somapura Vihara constructed by the Buddhist Palas)

Their abhorrence of "but parasti" (Murti Puja-crudely put into English as Idol Worship...btw that word comes from Buddha and the plethora of Buddha statues that dotted Afghanistan before Arab conquerors of Iran encountered them) is too much and that dislike is non-negotiable...They are just awesomely/awfully taken aback that there are Dharmic traditions like Buddhism,Jainism and Samkhya which are non-theistic/atheistic..most of them cannot get their head around that...even the "nishkriya"/inert Pure Conciousness OR Atman of NDV is something they struggle to come to terms with........................................

Yes, you see in Islam, there is no real debate as such only the passing on of Quranic knowledge. So as long as the child can recite the verses, this is a worthy achievement. The vast majority of Muslims have no idea what the Quran contains but refer to the local Imam to guide them. Religions based on revelation are not based on 'experience' like the the Dharmic traditions. Just the passing on of the initial revelation. Any off shoots that develop an experiential dimension never become main stream. Like Sufi's etc.

But many of my generation see that New Atheism and Evangelical Christianity are just conjoined twins....it's a ploy of the imperialists to show that as if we have a choice...

Its the same the world over (even here in Africa). I agree with this 100%. Western Atheism is really a mirror of Christianity. Dharmic & indigenous cultures are getting this full tilt right now. I think you are aware of the Joshua Project? Its a plan to focus on the poor in Africa, Asia, Middle East etc. All with US backing I might add.

Did you here about the Kenneth Bae debacle? He was in North Korea under false pretenses.
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014 ... -help?lite

Joshua Project. I welcome anyone, especially Dan74 or anyone who dismissed Shaswata to actually read this rather than attack forum members personally.
http://www.joshuaproject.net/

Dhammafriend
User avatar
dhammafriend
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:19 am

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

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:18 pm

from here

http://www.sriexpress.com/articles/item ... world.html

The Buddhist World lacks an effective mechanism to help save a Buddhist Nation in Danger
The crisis facing the Buddhist world is neither a decline in religious conviction nor an apprehension that truth underpinned by rational argument and new scientific discoveries will one day overtake and outstrip the core teachings of its founder which is a perennial fear bordering on despondency that characterizes several other competing religions, but the lack of an effective institutional mechanism that can lend support when a Buddhist institution, Buddhist community or even a pre-dominant Buddhist nation is in danger. We see the lack of substantial networks of support driving threatened Buddhist nations or Buddhist communities into a sense of despair and hopelessness at times of an emergency. Traditional Buddhist countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Laos are now under severe pressure to distance themselves from extending state patronage to Buddhism and erase their Buddhist country identity and embrace a secular identity with no such pressure being applied to countries in other parts of the world such as the Middle East or the Catholic belt of Europe.

Despite a 2500 year old history that makes Buddhism one of the oldest religions in the world, a worldwide presence that makes it a global religion, and a way of life grounded in wisdom and compassion that attracts the envy of other civilizations, Buddhism still retains its biggest constraint i.e. lack of effective protections. It is a historical fact that Buddhism has lost more territory and space in Asia, its traditional homeland, in the last one thousand years than any other religion. It is also a hard fact that this process is on going with no sign of abatement and no effective measures developed to counter it.

Buddhism’s biggest appeal of being an eternally passive, non – confrontational, peace loving religion that lacks a central place to direct its affairs in the international arena unlike in the case of say the Vatican (sovereign state enjoying both temporal and spiritual power) or the World Council of Churches ( powerful and well – funded with influence reaching to four corners of the world) or the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (promoting Muslim solidarity in economic, social, and political affairs), has become Buddhism’s Achilles' heel. Its organizational bases are relatively powerless when compared to the aforesaid entities. For example, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world and committed to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world. It has its headquarters in Saudi Arabia.

Rising Challenges to Buddhism

The issue of rising challenges to Buddhism to the extent of undermining its very existence as the pre-dominant religion of a nation, hardly merits much attention in discussions of International Buddhist Organisations, International Buddhist Conferences, or among National Governments in countries with predominant Buddhist populations and corresponding state and constitutional obligations to protect and foster Buddhism.

Traditional Buddhist countries now find themselves force fed with ideas that are foreign to Asia, that had been given birth primarily in a Western setting and related to the interplay of dynamics of European societies but are nevertheless required to be uncritically accepted and transplanted in Asian societies without due consideration being given to the social tensions that would be generated in transplanting such ideas. To de-link state patronage to Buddhism is one such pressure brought on by various religious interests that during the heyday of colonialism enjoyed exclusive patronage from colonial rulers.

The solidarity that countries in Buddhist Asia showed towards each other in the distant past i.e. pre - colonial era, has greatly evaporated or become non – existent. The sense of kinship of being fellow travelers in a spiritual journey overarched by Buddhist precepts and bonded by common religious beliefs and foundations no longer act as a reference point to summon or render assistance even between Buddhist peoples based in neighbouring countries at times of need.

Recent events, for example, attacks on Buddhist Temples in Bangladesh or the crisis in Myanmar hardly drew concerted attention or action in other Buddhist countries in the form of assisting our co – religionists facing an existential plight.

Areas of growing concern

1) Religious conversions

Countries preserving Indian Civilizational religions e.g. Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism etc. are seen as soft and easy targets for manipulation and religious conversion of their people, and in turn replacement of centuries old traditional culture with new cultures subservient to foreign interests. The resulting change in religious demography brings pressure on the State to disassociate itself with Buddhist values that underpin the stability of the society, legal framework and moral direction of the country.

2) Mass Media

The mainstream Mass Media in the English language in pre-dominant Buddhist countries which act as the window to the world hardly makes any contribution towards creating any Buddhist public opinion or provide a voice reflecting Buddhist concerns. Instead it acts as a group largely hostile to the creation of any such Buddhist opinion and thereby sacrificing the interests of the wider majority of the country’s people. One hardly reads newspaper editorials in support of a Buddhist cause. Instead Buddhists find themselves repeatedly fed with a regular and steady diet of lectures on ‘human rights’, ‘rule of law’ ‘democracy’ non – violence’ ‘peace and reconciliation’ despite no such intransigence on their part at a major level.

There appears to be a calculated move to place Buddhists, metaphorically speaking, in the ‘dock’, make Buddhists feel guilty of alleged crimes or misconduct and then extract more and more concessions totally out of proportion to what Buddhists enjoy as a religious minority in non – Buddhist countries.

3) Status of Buddhism as an official religion

Reciprocity is the norm that governs diplomacy or grant of religious concessions. Buddhism hardly enjoys official status as a religion in Europe or in the Middle East. Freedom of religion is honoured in the breach when it comes to acceptance of Buddhism as an official religion in these parts of the world. In Europe only Russia and Austria recognize Buddhism as an official religion.

4) Hidden Agenda of 'Secularism'

The proponents of secularism in Sri Lanka like in India are those clearly bent on repudiating the civilisational ethos of this country. Their main objective is to marginalize Buddhism from the public - political and social – life. In the West we find that secularism had stood for rationalism, universalism and humanism. In Asia, secularism is being used as a smokescreen and a shield to push Indian civilizational religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism away from the centre stage and replace them with religions and ideologies that were introduced much later in time to these lands.

In pre-colonial Sri Lanka there was never any conflict between the State and organized religion. It is essentially a European phenomenon. What we are now faced with is an increasing challenge to an ancient, indigenous Buddhist civilisation which is gentle, accommodative and pacifist by later introduced religious cultures that have a track record of intolerance and violence and close association with colonialism and a self-declared objective of world conquest. They use the language of human rights and freedom of religion but their goals are very much political and predatory. They support the country’s adversaries in the international arena to engage in the game of finger – pointing, naming and shaming our leaders and people. It is also a battle for the moral conscience of Sri Lanka which our people and rulers have worked so hard relentlessly to keep over many centuries as an expression of our indigenous religious beliefs and outlook.

League of Buddhist Nations

During the last five hundred years or so, since the beginning of the western colonial era, the governance and steering of the world was very much in the hands of powerful western nations using their mono religio- cultural framework as terms of reference in policy making and implementation of policy. That era is now drawing to a close. Sino – Indic civilizations will take over from euro-centric civilizations. The question is not whether but when. The old world will give rise to a new world and revert to Asia its traditional leadership role of the world.

Buddhism is well - integrated and deep seated in both the Chinese and Indian cultures. To the Buddhists in Asia the challenge is to develop new structures and institutions that reflect current realities. It would be feasible for countries with pre-dominant Buddhist populations to consider developing closer ties with each other in the spheres of economic, cultural, and trade and investment. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) provides a role model for the Buddhist world to adopt and establish at summit level an equivalent body to give voice and make representations on behalf of the Buddhists.

Buddhist heritage countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka among others should engage in increasing close cooperation in international affairs and regularly meet like the European Union or the OIC in the form of a League of Buddhist Nations. Sri Lanka as a traditional Buddhist country with the longest continuing Buddhist history in the world is eminently well qualified to take an initiative in this direction.

Buddhist Television Channel on par with BBC, CNN and Al - Jazeera

The Buddhist voice is relatively speaking largely unheard in the international arena. Buddhist nations which are embattled or threatened by more powerful vested interests have to rely on International news agencies or foreign Television Channels such as BBC, CNN or Al – Jazeera which have different policy objectives and are largely unsympathetic or sometimes even prejudiced towards the Buddhist cause, to air their position. This is an unsatisfactory situation. The time has come for the Buddhist world to seriously consider the inauguration of a Buddhist Television Channel on par with the aforesaid major TV Channels.
Shaswata_Panja
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:49 pm

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

Postby Dan74 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:07 pm

Hi Dhammafriend :hello:

I am sorry if I had attacked the OP personally as you say. For all I know he (she) may be an admirable kind person, an examplar of a good practitioner in almost every way.

It is the "us versus them" and the mirage of "Buddhism under siege" that I have a problem with, not the OP personally. That, and the generous sprinkling of conspiracy theory about the evil imperialists out there.

I looked at the Joshua Project website - did you not know that there are many Christian missionary organisations out there? What is supposed to be particularly shocking about this?

The late patriarch of Korean main Buddhist order (Chogye), Ven Seongchol, said once that to compare Christian teachings to Buddhism is like throwing an egg on a boulder, but looking around Korea, the practice is just the opposite. This is one nation where Christianity had made very significant inroads. Again I say to you that if one cares about protecting the Dhamma, practice harder. Help build strong vibrant Sanghas. Do good and avoid all evil. Don't feed fear and animosity of other religions. This will not do the Dhamma any good.
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2626
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

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

Postby rowboat » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:26 pm

Dan74: That, and the generous sprinkling of conspiracy theory about the evil imperialists out there.


I don't know if you saw my previous post on this thread. In the future please be more careful and try to show some restraint before you throw around that "conspiracy theory" slur. There is a lot of legitimate scholarship on the subject that is readily available to anyone. That said, my only interest in this thread is contained in the posts I've made myself, or those that I have quoted.

rowboat wrote:
Dan74: Your belief that missionary work is part of Western foreign policy is yours too. Neither is grounded in fact but in speculation and projection.


Sadly there is a long and sordid history of Christian missionary deep involvement in Western colonialism/imperialism.

Evangelicals and American Foreign Policy Mark R Amstutz (Oxford University Press)

Thy Will Be Done – The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett

In 1996, veteran journalists Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett published their classic book “Thy Will Be Done – The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil,” which painstakingly documented the incestuous relationship between the US intelligence apparatus and the private religious sphere. Specifically, the book illuminated the personal and professional friendship of Nelson Rockefeller and William Cameron “Cam” Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, the world’s largest fundamentalist missionary group. Colby and Dennett write:

“…many clergy became direct collaborators with the CIA. One member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) was proud of this collaboration. William Carlsen, a missionary in northeastern Thailand, considered it "a privilege to share information with responsible agencies of the government where they seek us out." Carlsen gave an eight-hour briefing to the CIA on Thailand's tribal areas when he returned home for a furlough. Most C&MA missionaries did likewise, according to a CIA source. Most of the information gleaned was about people, their actions, opinions, and grievances.”

Merely one example pulled from a rich history of such collaborations, the above excerpt demonstrates not only the interaction between the Agency and Christian missionaries, but some of the ways in which they were utilized. Because of their hands-on experience with indigenous peoples and cultures, the missionaries were used to map the human and cultural geography of disparate groups, facilitating the creation of a vast intelligence database to be used for covert action.

As the connections between the CIA and religious groups such as Wycliffe and its associated Summer Institutes of Linguistics (SIL) had become known, the public perception of this relationship became very worrisome. So, as Colby and Dennet write:

“President Nixon's director of [US]AID, John Hannah, had admitted publicly that AID had funded CIA operations in Laos, and subsequent revelations pointed to CIA-AID collaboration in Ecuador, Uruguay, Thailand and the Philippines.

http://rt.com/op-edge/north-korea-usa-cia-639/
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
User avatar
rowboat
 
Posts: 428
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:31 am
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia

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

Postby culaavuso » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:17 pm

rowboat wrote:Sadly there is a long and sordid history of Christian missionary deep involvement in Western colonialism/imperialism.


This isn't limited to Christian missionaries, however. The CIA appears to have worked with Buddhist groups in the past in order to support foreign policy objectives as well. It seems likely that the affiliation with religious groups is merely a means to an end.

The untold story of how Tibetan Buddhism first came to America
David Urubshurow wrote:The combined efforts of Geshe Wangyal and Takster Rinpoche at the birth of the organized Tibetan resistance made it possible for ST Circus, the CIA’s codename for its anti-Chinese effort, to achieve its most notable success: the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet. Fortuitous contact by members of the first class of US-trained Tibetan resistance fighters with the Dalai Lama’s escape party in March 1959 allowed the CIA to be informed daily of the Dalai Lama’s whereabouts throughout the grueling ordeal.
culaavuso
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

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

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:47 pm

Dan74 wrote:Hi Dhammafriend :hello:

I am sorry if I had attacked the OP personally as you say. For all I know he (she) may be an admirable kind person, an examplar of a good practitioner in almost every way.

It is the "us versus them" and the mirage of "Buddhism under siege" that I have a problem with, not the OP personally. That, and the generous sprinkling of conspiracy theory about the evil imperialists out there.

I looked at the Joshua Project website - did you not know that there are many Christian missionary organisations out there? What is supposed to be particularly shocking about this?

The late patriarch of Korean main Buddhist order (Chogye), Ven Seongchol, said once that to compare Christian teachings to Buddhism is like throwing an egg on a boulder, but looking around Korea, the practice is just the opposite. This is one nation where Christianity had made very significant inroads. Again I say to you that if one cares about protecting the Dhamma, practice harder. Help build strong vibrant Sanghas. Do good and avoid all evil. Don't feed fear and animosity of other religions. This will not do the Dhamma any good.



you didnot attack me..so put that behind you.....I personally like many Christian mystics like St.John of the Cross, St.Francis of Assisi and others.....Many of them had the vision of the all encompassing God because of their own spiritual piety...Problem is when this Vision-of-God ,born out of piety, is used surreptiously to sell the God of Biblical history and spread the spiritual imperialism of the Church


to leave you with the words of the Irish neo-platonic Christian Scotus Eriugena:

“We do not know what God is. God Himself does not know what He is because He is not anything. Literally God is not, because He transcends being.“


here is a good blog on Christian mysticism

http://darkcloudofbeing.wordpress.com/
Shaswata_Panja
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:49 pm

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

Postby dhammafriend » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:03 am

Thank you for your reply Dan

Absolutely no-one here disagrees with you regarding how we can make Dhamma thrive. Its all up to good and sincere practice. This advice although good, seems to me de-contextualized. It does not take into account the historical role of colonialism and all that went with it. And that fact that it still continues to this day.

I am assuming you are a white male. Correct me if I am wrong. As a person of color who is partly westernized (being the end product of a colonized nation) I can assure you that the picture is very different on the receiving end of the great enterprise to civilize the poor savages over the globe. This still continues today my friend. Just look at how Muslims and Africans are depicted in mass media as an example.

As for conspiracy theories,Dan, please do your research. This is all well documented. Certain nations have laws in place that monitor religious conversion for a reason.
I understand that it must be very difficult to empathize with people who 'are not like you' in how they see the world, their cultural assumptions etc. I think I can understand that for you, half of the picture here is missing and when its presented to you, you reject it because it undermines your cultural assumptions and biases.

I will repeat what I said in my earlier post: I believe that any person has the right to spread / share their faith to all people, but their rights end where the rights of the other person begins.

Thank you again.
Metta
Dhammafriend
User avatar
dhammafriend
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:19 am

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

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:48 pm

The recent protests in Thailand got me thinking that Thaksin Sinawatra and his proxy---the acting PM ,his sister, are being propped up by the evangelical West to achieve their targets Just like Sonia Gandhi in India, the Roman Catholic, is propped up by Europe and the Catholic Church so that the Church may not have any obstruction whatsoever in converting the Pagan Hindus...There is also an Islamist insurgency raging in South Thailand. Maybe the west wants to partition Thailand on religious lines and contain a possible Buddhist challenge to it's nefarious evangelical projects.The West is collaborating with Sunni Islam as it's junior partner in all these projects. A new Islamic state in South Thailand is not out of the realm of possibility as Burma intensifies its campaign for self-preservation.
Bangladeshis may be the foot soldiers to execute these projects in SE Asia like Pakistan is working on in the Gulf region and worked in the Afghan
case 1979-89. That may explain the US support for BNP in Bangladesh.


As I see it

Christian Evangelical West = The Machines


Radical Islam= Agent Smith

Dharmics of various hues (Buddhist,Hindus,Jains,Sikhs)=The Free Human Beings of Zion

Converts to Dharmic traditions=Those who were plugged but are now waking up

It's Just a working Hypothesis

To non-native Buddhists here, if your country openly denigrates or shames a Theravada Buddhist country, or tries to subvert its culture through conversion or goes to war with it..whom would you support? with whom would your loyalty lie?

I feel there should be a Buddhist Super-State to effectively tackle the challenges of modern religio-geo-politics

Here I propose the Theravada Super-State

Image
Shaswata_Panja
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:49 pm

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

Postby beeblebrox » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:06 am

Shaswata_Panja wrote:Here I propose the Theravada Super-State


I practice to be free... I don't do it to get myself bounded to something like this.

:anjali:
User avatar
beeblebrox
 
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: martinfrank and 8 guests