An “Indian Bible” or a “Bible for India”?

April 28, 2009

flight-to-egyptAnnotated Bibles come in all shapes, sizes and standpoints. One of the most interesting recent examples is The New Community Bible in India. The novelty is not the text itself but the extensive footnotes comparing and contrasting Christian teachings with those of India’s main religions. Christians make up only 2.3% of India’s 1.1 billion population compared to 80% for Hindus and 13% for Muslims. The illustrations are also clearly Indian — in the drawing for the Flight to Egypt (at right), Mary wears a sari and a bindi on her forehead while Joseph sports a turban.

The New Community Bible (NCB) stirred up some controversy when it was published, with official Church approval, by a Roman Catholic group in Mumbai last summer. A Protestant pastor called it “a complete turn back from the real Bible.” Hindu natiotionalists denounced it as a bid to convert Hindus to Christianity. A blog named after Hindu guru (CORRECTED: see comment below) Sathya Sai Baba warned that Christian missionaries were “taking aim at India” with a “deceptive Bible and other questionable tactics.” . There was also criticism from Catholic laity, enough to prompt the bishops to order a study of the issue and have the publisher hold off with a second edition. That’s too bad because the first edition quickly sold out.

During my recent visit to India, I got a look at a friend’s copy of the NCB and found it fascinating. Following are a few points that stood out while I paged through it (and a few not very professional photos I took of its illustrations):

In Genesis:

  • woman-with-fireAfter its opening “in the beginning,” the footnote observes: “Even in the Upanishad, some creation accounts open with the word ‘agre’ (at the beginning)…”
  • At the phrase “God saw that the light was good,” it notes: “Light is considered good and desirable also in the Vedas. The expression “TJ” is well known. Tamasoma jyotirgamaya…” Lead from from darkness to light… (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28).”
  • After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve “become shamefully conscious of their nakedness and plan a cover-up from God (3:7-8). To use Indian terminology, they regress into avidya, that is nescience or lack of right perspective, which causes alienation and suffering.”
  • On Noah and the Flood – “There exist myths of the flood in almost every religion, and the Biblical acocunt shows some striking parallels to the Mesopotamian flood story. Satapath Brahmana (1.8.1-10) offers the earliest Indian version. The Mahabharata (3.187) also narrates a similar story.”
  • On the Tower of Babel — “For the Yahwist author, Babel meant confusion, a athetic symbol of the folly of human pride and self-sufficiency… We can find modern Babels all around us, constructed by the stinking rich and proud politicians. Instead of using wealth and power to creatively solve the real problems of the people, they use these to bolster their own images and pamper their presitge. To make a name for themselves, they ignore, nay, trample down on the legitimate rights of millions of poor and oppressed people. The resentment and revolt this causes is another sort of babel, confusion, alienation.”

family-in-hovelworkersSince it’s aimed at today’s Indians, Bollywood naturally rates a mention. At the end of the Book of Job, when God restores Job’s fortunes, a footnote comments: “Like in modern TV soap operas and box-office films from Bollywood, ‘God’ reenters in the form of a deus ex machina who, with a word and a magic wand, restores everything to its earlier felicity and Job lived happily ever after.”

Not all references are to Hinduism. In Matthew’s nativity account, the NCB notes: The Koran, written some six hundred years after the Gospels (about AD 650), affirms the virginal conception of Jesus – called Isa, probably an Arabic form of the Syriac version of his name (Sura 19:16-22). This forms part of the common belief of Muslims. Interestingly, Joseph is not mentioned in the Koran… The wise men were priests of the Zoroastrian religion, which used to be the religion of Persia before the country was taken over and converted by Islam. It now survives as the religion of the Parsees in India… For Matthew, the magi are the highly respected religious leaders, representing non-Jewish religions.”

The NCB notes that Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by the Sermon on the Mount and uses Jesus’s criticism of the Jewish purity laws as an opportunity to make a wider point about Indian society today: “The same kind of distinction underlies the caste system in India. The ‘dalits’ are treated as ‘untouchables’ by the so-called ‘clean’ castes, because the kind of work they do brings them into touch with ‘polluting’ things and so makes them in Hindu society ritually impure. Jesus completely abolishes this kind of purity/pollution distinction. He shows that true ‘purity’ (that is, fitness for worshipping God) does not depend on external things but upon the attitudes of the heart.”

The illustrations also make points about modern-day India. In the Exodus story of Moses and the burning bush, the NCB notes that God told Moses to take off his sandals because he was on holy ground. The accompanying illustration (below) shows modern footwear in front of a church, a mosque and Hindu and Sikh temples. “Every religion is deserving of our respect, even if we do not accept all of their cultural and social wrappings,” the footnote says. “As Mahatma Gandhi said, respect for other religions helps us to understand our own religion better.”

bible-burning-bush-pages-resized

The NCB tries to explain Christianity in the Indian context, both to Christians living in a culture marked much more by other religions and Indians of other faiths trying to understand the Christians among them. Why should that be controversial?

53 comments

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christianity in india is as old as christianity itself, having been introduced to india by st thomas – hence there is no real “need” to indianise it. whilst study guides are helpful addenda to the pulpit ministry, they should not litter the pages of holy writ. so-called “study bibles” are examples of pandering mass-marketeering, all good intentions notwithstanding. bibles should be published without note or comment, and the teaching of interpretation and application left to the ministry

Posted by jd | Report as abusive

The strategy of enculturation is no longer new. This was done by St Paul in his speech at the Areopagus where he tried to Christianize the Pagan Beliefs (Acts 17:22-23). He said to them “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, “To an unknown God.” “What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you”. St. Paul even went on quoting pagan poets when the latter said, “for we too are his offsprings (referring to the unknown God)”. And since we are offsprings of God, we ought no to think that the divinity is like an image fashioned from gold, silver or stone by human art and imagination” (Acts 17:28-29). So my answer to the question whether this is an Indian Bible or Bible for India is both and they are inseparable.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

So sad to know that churches r being burnt in india and christians had been killed.but its not the first time happening in india,in past indian christians were tortured n muredered.also muslims,tey are also suffering from such situation.indians had to develop respect for other religion and tolerance for humanity.also media also must more focus on this issue and then let world leaders to comment

The problem is:
Bible or any other religios books are books which are complied to convey a certain message and preachings. How can you Indianise these preachings? If the author is doing so, it is his perception of what those preachings are, how can he claim it to be a “BIBLE”? It is not the Bible. You are condemning other existing religions in India in this book (mentioning about caste system and all). I dont think the bible mentions all this, hence the book mostly potrays what the author thinks that the bible preaches. How does that make it an Indian Bible? No it is a summary of the authors idea about what Bible is and how it applies to today’s India. So lets be very clear on what bible actually is and what your perception of bible is.

Posted by kusum | Report as abusive

After reading Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Isopanishads, etc, the Bible seems elementary.

Posted by dave r | Report as abusive

jesus did not create christianity. it was created by many hundred years later for political reasons. it is hard to imagine that st. thomas went to syria converted them to christianity and came to india by walk or caravan and converted people here. bible itself was written 300 yrs later. this is a cheap attempt by christians to make bible appeal to indians.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

mass marketing a religion is not good.
A religion can not be considered as a commodity and marketed like McDonald’s or any other outlet.
Please do not compare Christianity with Hinduism, they both are poles apart. The current economic scenario, sufferings around the world, control of people in majorly rich countries, destruction of bio diversity — all these are factors that distinguish religions. think about these factors and now conclude which religion is good for the planet.
Rishi

Posted by Rishi | Report as abusive

This attempt to interpret Bible in an Indianised context with references to Vedas,koran and others shows how much the Catholic Church has distanced itself from The Lord Jesus Christ.They are again Crucifying the Lord Jesus on the Cross by attempting to link Darkness with the True Light (Holy Bible).May the Lord raise up a Standard against such attempts to dilute the Holy Word.

Posted by philip | Report as abusive

From ever since the beginning, Religions were always a commodity of sale and its nothing more than a collection of stories to inspire its followers.
Hinduism is no exception for it.Moreover, What we see hinduism today, is not what it is when Jesus is born.
India has to come out of this dominant or minority religion myth and to be a secular state.

In one word I will call it “cheap” tactics. This is a negative advertisement of Christanity. Negative and cheap because it uses quotes to finds faults with Hinduism (Dalits as lower casts in Hinduism etc…) but takes advantage of Hinduism to sell (I will not say preach here) Christanity. A visit to Rome & Vatican shows that the spread of christanity is a path splashed with blood. Pagans, Romans were converted and those who did not were roasted to death-The hard facts. Cross was stuck on each and everything there including even a pagan temple as a mark of Victory. Times have changed but cheapness remains. Fortunate are these individuals who are being converted by non-violent but CHEAP tactics–Let this not be taken as a complement! But you know what all this reflects negatively on Christanity–but do these sales persons care. It is time to use the non-violent and systemetic means to stop this BS—un-Hindu but needed.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I’m surprised to see so many negative comments. All the major religions adapt to some extent to the countries they’re in. Christianity has been very adaptive — just look at all the denominations that exist, all the different languages that Christians pray in, etc. What is the problem if a publisher takes a standard Bible text and just adds some footnotes meant to make it clearer to its readers? Even within the context of the Catholic Church (because this is a Catholic Bible), this book does not deny any Church teachings. It also quotes Vatican documents to back up its engagement with other religions. What’s the problem?

The initial comments about Christianity being long established in India and inculturation going back to Saint Paul are true but miss the point. This is not a question of rewriting the Bible to call the Lord “Guru” or introduce Hindu concepts into Christian theology. It is making clear the comparisons and contrasts between Christianity and other religions.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

Folks, please get some info on who attacked who in India- the religions India gave birth to and spread by it are Hinduism, Buddism, Sikhism and Jainism. No violence was ever used to spread them. Violence was used to convert hindus by both muslims and Christians resulted in conversions and shrunk these religions tremendously. Shameless poaching is ongoing in India and Nepal as we are speaking. Poaching may result civil unrest and evangelist should accept the responsibility for disturbing the very secular fabric of India. Read-

Wikipedia on Goa Inquisition: excerpts-
-In addition, the Inquisition prosecuted non-converts who broke prohibitions against the observance of Hindu or Muslim rites or interfered with Portuguese attempts to convert non-Christians to Catholicism.[2] While its ostensible aim was to preserve the Catholic faith, the Inquisition was used against Indian Catholics and Hindus as an instrument of social control, as well as a method of confiscating victims’ property and enriching the Inquisitors………………………………….
The Portuguese colonial administration enacted anti-Hindu laws with the expressed intent to “humiliate Hindus” and encourage conversions to Christianity. Laws were passed banning Christians from keeping Hindus in their employ, and the public worship of Hindus was deemed unlawful[10]. Hindus were forced to assemble periodically in churches to listen to preaching or to refutation of their religion.[11] The viceroy ordered that Hindu pandits and physicians be disallowed from entering the capital city on horseback or palanquins, the violation of which entailed a fine. Successive violations resulted in imprisonment, Christian palaquin-bearers were forbidden from carrying Hindus as passengers. Christian agricultural laborers were forbidden to work in the lands owned by Hindus and Hindus forbidden to employ Christian laborers.[12] The Inquisition guaranteed “protection” to Hindus who converted to Christianity. Thus, they initiated a new wave of baptisms to Hindus who were motivated by social coercion into converting[13].
The adverse effects of the inquisition were tempered somewhat by the fact that Hindus were able to escape Portuguese hegemony by migrating to other parts of the subcontinent[14].

Tom

did you read Gita (abridged),
whats your nation of Birth?
Dont answer if you are not comfortable, think its irrelevant (mine India FYI.)
You can criticize casteism as much as you want.Affirmative action was initiated long before it was put in place in USA.
Gita provided accommodations to future appearance of other religions and assured all that there are many paths for god realization. This is where christianity and Islam fall short. Vivekanada dissuaded enthusiastic New Yorkers in late 1800s and told them to remain christians and not bother converting to Hinduism. Instead he promised them that reading Gita will make them better christians.

Poaching is unnecessary and hurtful, but encouraging reform in ones own religion is better. In other words tolerant and secular societies should be built on existing rigid religious countries.

Azadp, you are taking things out of context. During the 1500s, the state and religion were one. So we have the so called State religion and anyone who defies the Church or embraces a religion other than what is prescribed is a crime against the State. This is equal to our penal and political laws today that one must be a citizen before you can vote or take properties etc such that if you violates such condition, you will be imprisoned or deported. But today in India, I believe that there is already a separation between Church and the State. Yet, in Orissa India, Christians are being raped and murdered just for them to embrace Hinduism. While you condemn the so called Bible bearing the footnotes and commentaries in relation to the Indian culture, yet you are silent on the Hindu extremism in Orissa which is very very very contrary to law and it is a crime against humanity. This is hypocrisy. I just hope that Indians will learn to tolerate other religions just as the Catholic Church has been tolerant to others.Just visit Rome, and there you will see one of the big mosques in the world. That is a physical evidence of tolerance of the Catholic Church. We must observe mutual respect and reciprocity. God bless

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Christians need to stick to their religion without interfering other religions of the world and that goes for other religions too. Conversion is Evil. Reconversion is good since it is getting back to the source.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

A Small Note: The comment in this article that said: Hindu guru and blogger Sathya Sai Baba warned that Christian missionaries were “taking aim at India” with a “deceptive Bible and other questionable tactics.” was not made by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba but was made on a WordPress blog bearing that name. Please allow for this clarification or please correct the article. Thank you.

hmmm…. “very little of popular faith is original…..”

i guess the above quote was first mentioned in the da vinci code by dan brown….

very little of a faith, popular within a geographical region is original… seems more accurate and correct..

all religions seemed to have gained popularity, by modifying itself to suit the local climatic conditions, geographical conditions, culture,…. some times religions changes just to keep up with the changing lifestyles of the people…a pitiful state of affairs….

Posted by rony | Report as abusive

Conversion is not evil per se if it is a conversion to Christ for his teachings are holy and pure. None of his teachings are violent but rather all his teachings are about love. That’s not evil david. But if one will convert to other beliefs which preaches intolerance, relativism and hatred which promotes chaos and disorder, then such conversion is evil.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Daniel

You say conversion to Christ is not evil per se for his teachings are holy and pure. I agree to the part that his teachings are holy and pure, period. Not the part that conversion is not evil.

Most of the people here have not read both the Bible and Hindu scriptures. I have and can say that most of the beliefs of love and compassion and brotherhood are similar. What distinguishes Hindu from Christian is that the Bhagavat Gita teaches us that there are many paths to achieve God and that all paths eventually lead to him. The trouble starts when both Christians and Muslims claim that their way is the “only” and “true” path. Just like you have said that Christ’s teachings are holy and pure, the impression I get is that you are one of those christians who believes that all other religions, particularly hindu is not holy and pure.

You talk of Orissa, but forget the Christian history of bloody crusades. Hinduism (and its offshoots) is the only religion in the world that can claim to not used violence to spread itself. History is living proof of that even today.

You need to get your perspective in the right place first before you can begun to judge, for thou art not so great (as my Lord) to be my judge!!

May the Lord bless us with his true and pure love towards our fellows.

Posted by Hridesh | Report as abusive

The discussions about religion is not for mature and learned people. Let any one follow any religion in the world. Once they are educated and start thinking about oneself, the world, and the universe, all the curtains of their thinking about religion fall off. Give respect to all as per the teachings of almost all religions.

Posted by ARDavare | Report as abusive

But if one will convert to other beliefs which preaches intolerance, relativism and hatred which promotes chaos and disorder, then such conversion is evil.

- Posted by Daniel Rosaupan

thats what you are doing when you are telling hindus that hinduism isnt good and christianity is better, hence convert. Gita and Vedas said other faiths /paths are fine to reach god. The beauty is these scrptures said it long before the abrahamic religions ever appeared on the planet.

Danil,
Judge others wrong, yourself right- sure u sleep well I suppose
Azadp, you are taking things out of context. During the 1500s, the state and religion were one.

Daniel, the question is which religion and state- Hinduism and India or Spain and christianity.
I thought the world was in existence even before 1500 BC. (Watch NatGeo – a fine documentary film on a 40,000 yrs old intact frozen mammoth is going on this week) .So your suggestion that the law in force in 1500s should be a universal yardstick becomes invalid. The muslim calendar says, regarding current year, it is well under 2009 and on the other hand the Hindu calendar says it is a lot lot older than 2009. Just to let you know. Probably you meant to say christian and muslim state instead of other states in Asia at that time.
The then king in kerala, south India had gracefully allowed christians to land in Kerala and to lead a peaceful coexistence (long long before 1500). Much before that Buddha was allowed by hindu kings in north to enter India and preach his faith to wiling Hindus. Long after that, the hindu Gujarati King allowed the Parsis ( Iranian Zoroastrians who fled to india, escaping arab jihadist annihilation of their kith and kin) to land and lead a peaceful coexistence. They were allowed to assimilate and practice their faiths. Now, coming to inquisition- once the christian invaders occupied a corner of india in Goa, they promptly implemented the savage law of religion. The christian state brutally oppressed hindus and muslims in Goa (against the backdrop of hindu kings benevolent outlook of other faiths). The rich spiritual message of tolerance of Gita and Vedas, already in vogue in the land, has not been reciprocated by Islam and christianity.

Daniel writes-This is hypocrisy. I just hope that Indians will learn to tolerate other religions just as the Catholic Church
No one ever offered apologies to India on the past brutal oppression of hindus by catholics. A hindu community leader was murdered by christians in Orissa and the people wanted murderers to be punished, the situation went out of control. A catholic woman is currently the president of ruling congress party, another catholic is the current defense minister of India. The police chief of Gujarat, the most prosperous state, is a muslim, so is the vice president of India, last but not the least the Prime Minister of India is a sikh. What more tolerance you want to teach Indians. As Tony Blair s wife had recently said, the world should follow indias example

Tolernce and acceptance will beget peace and love

Sikh community leaving Orakzai Agency GEO Pakistan
Updated at: 0303 PST, Friday, May 01, 2009
PESHAWAR: Sikhs, living from centuries, are now resolving to say goodbye to Orakzai Agency and migrating to unknown places due to tensions in the region besides local Jirga also ordered them to pay annual protection money worth of 15 million rupees to militants.

According to sources, militants captured the shops and homes of 35 Sikh families and arrested the head of their community Klank Singh and Sewa Singh in the Ferozkhel area of Lower Orakzai Agency.

As a result, a local Jirga was held which pronounced 15 million rupees levied on Sikh community to be paid to militants as protection money at the end of every year.

Following the Jirga ruling, militants auctioned their houses and other belongings while Sikh community has started migrating from the

For Tom Heneghan:

@I’m surprised to see so many negative comments.

Tom: First off, you must appreciate the fact that you are handling a sensitive topic. Bloggers have opinion with a reason and their opnions have a rationale. Is it fare on your part to mislabel them as “negative comment”. Why do you say negative? Are you a missionary that anyone who opposes the article will be condemned as negative?

@All the major religions adapt to some extent to the countries they’re in. Christianity has been very adaptive — just look at all the denominations that exist, all the different languages that Christians pray in, etc. What is the problem if a publisher takes a standard Bible text and just adds some footnotes meant to make it clearer to its readers? ……..”
—I understand that Christanity is very adaptive. Thing is it has to be since the mission is to spread Christianity all over the world. Specific point is that poor (let us say Dalits for your convenience) in India need help (food shelter clothing). But why convert them to Christanity for FSC. Poor are not poor because of religion, poor are poor because of other reasons—a true help and sympathy will be to enable the poor to achieve by keeping their old religion—-Jesus will not object to the deal. Now you say Christianity is adaptive. It is self-serving adaptation. Because Christians will use the words like “satan/demon” for idol worshippers and dump the whole reason of poverty on Hinduism, but then in this new bible, also try to use the positives (“some footnotes” and not to forget the usage of “Sari and Bindi” sketches ) of Hinduism for this. West has money, If it is so altruistic, why not just spend money and let people practice their religion. I view there is very justifiable reason to complain.
If you have not you must listen (youtube) to Swami Vivekananda discourse (Chicago and NY) in which he asks the Christian leaders that “poor in India do not need religion, they have had enough of that, what they need is help, so that’s what you need to give them’ and then he asks them to “read Gita, no need of converting”.

In other words Swami Vivekanda would have posted the same comments if he was alive to blog here.
@What’s the problem?
…So that’s our problem.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I just would like to address the the adverse reactions of the two people against my comments. They always point out to the history about inquisitions and other acts which they considered violent against those who did not embrace Christianity. Hridesh talks about Crusade. Hridesh, try to consult your history. The Catholic Church did not wage a crusade against Hindus but against Muslims when they invaded the Capital of Christianity such as Constantinople. To azadp,inquisition was neither waged against Hindus for the inquisition was only applicable to Heretics. Inquisition means to investigate or to ask if one is suspected of heresy and therefore one of the pre-requisites is you must be a Catholic. Now, the Catholic Church may not be a perfect institution for there were abuses that even a Catholic Priest like Martin Luther had condemned. But on the contrary, the Church has always the courage and capability to ask forgiveness from anyone whom he had offended. Precisely, this is what Jesus Christ had taught; for us to repent. Now, what about the Hindus in Orissa, did they show the same thing to ask forgiveness to the Christians they slaughtered and women they raped? There may be tolerance in other parts of India since the leaders are Catholics but that doesnt justify that there must be intolerance in one part of its country and the Catholic leaders are helpless because the police and political leaders in Orissa doesnt implement the Supreme Court decision to protect the Christians in Orissa. Now, you accuse the Christians in masterminding the death of a Hindu leader. This is again another blatant lie. The Communists had admitted the crime, yet the Hindus continue to persecute Christians. All I wanna say is you keep on justifying your anti Christian sentiments out of a past history which has long been resolved through several treaties. Why wont you focus on the present situation which is of more importance rather that digging the past? It’s immaterial! The Christians livin in India are Indians! They have the right to convert people and they should not be prevented on that! Hinduism is not a state religion of India and precisely there is a reason for being so. If one is convinced about Christianity, you have no right to punish him. While you condemn Christianity for preachin that it is the true religion, but your act of intolerance toward conversion of Hindus to Christianity which is voluntary is indeed a hypocrisy for you yourself believe that Hinduism is the only religion for Indians. Why not let this people decide on their own?

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

@They have the right to convert people and they should not be prevented on that! Hinduism is not a state religion of India and precisely there is a reason for being so. If one is convinced about Christianity, you have no right to punish him.
- Posted by Daniel Rosaupan

-Daniel:
True, the key word is “convince”–and how much convincing goes into it. When did exploiting poverty became “convincing”?
your view of convincing is: “Hey Dalits, you are poor in this polytheistic Hinduism, If you follow Jesus, who suffered for us including you, … you will prosper. There is no castism in Christianity and u will not be untouchables! Follow the message of Jesus ..” The poor will say “I do not entirely know what you say, but what the heck I will convert for my needs”. Daniel, you are among the people who are raising these walls among religions even higher. In India, there is a need for the Church to rethink its approach, esepecially when Hinduism does not compete in this business of PROSELYTISM.

You are giving the legal side. Read this story–an example of Christian majority US, which also has state and church separate and is secular, threw an Indian GURU, a Hindu by birth–but atheist in practice, out of US.
Indian Guru—OSHO (Rajneesh)-was spreading his message (spirituality, meditation—not religion-based stuff). He moved to Oregon US from Pune India. He was not into spreading Hinduism. He is known to have commented on each thinkable topic–politics and religion.To say the least, he was special–I am not his follower per se. He commented on good/bad of all religions. You can check out if interested. He was straightforward in message. He became hugely popular with foreigners/Indians all together—so a lot of money and Rajneeshpuram—a central community center of 60,000 acre came into existence. Although he was not into politics or anything, the US govt (SECULAR, NO RIGHT TO INTRUDE INTO HIS AFFAIRS) felt the need to encroach. All sorts of allegations –food poisoning/bio-terrorism (standard US cooked evidence like US Iraq war WMD were there for legal case against the poor GURU)–were put against him. To cut the long story short he was made to shut down all he had, his food was poisoned with radioactive stuff, made to leave the country for his slow death in India leave the country. The role of Christianity in pushing US to take action against this fast-spreading movement is well known, if you read some book on regulating religion.
US had no right to do so, but they did. Hypocrites! This is Church taking advantage of the state to stop other dominant movement. In India, it is not Indian govt that is doing that, it is at people level–and you cannot say they are wrong. Yes Orissa killings were sad.
Since Hinduism is not meant for sale and spreading like some other religions, it is time that certain legal provisions are incorporated to stop this PROSELYTISM. I am against forcible conversion back to Hinduism—that’s stupid. But sure we do not need a foreigner to tell us what to do.

@ Just visit Rome, and there you will see one of the big mosques in the world. That is a physical evidence of tolerance of the Catholic Church. We must observe mutual respect and reciprocity.
- I have been to Rome/Vatican/had the chance to listen to Pope Benedict XVI. The “physical evidence of tolerance of the Catholic Church”- the Mosque in Rome is the largest in Europe, not the world (pl correct your records)—built with Saudi money. During my visit to Rome, I saw all the physical signs of Christianity on each important structure, where CROSS had no business to be present. The pagan temple has the CROSS on top of it. Colosseum has CROSS in it. Give me a good reason why CROSS there—hilarious to me. For India you talk about intolerance based upon your myopic view of Orissa incidence. You are being hypocritical here. India has the physical signs—see the # of churches and the Indians who over long time have converted to Christianity—without resistance. Still you call Indians intolerant. Who is hypocritical here. No one can make you understand if you have no experience of Indian culture and history. Your views are flat unidimesional.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Daniel Rosaupan:
True, the key word is “convince”–and how much convincing goes into it. When did exploiting poverty became “convincing”? and Mass conversions—come on.

Your view of convincing is: “Hey Dalits, you are poor in this polytheistic Hinduism, If you follow Jesus, who suffered for us including you, … you will prosper. There is no castism in Christianity and u will not be untouchables! Follow the message of Jesus ..” The poor will say “I do not entirely know what you say, but what the heck I will convert for my needs”. Daniel, you are among the people who are raising these walls among religions even higher. For India, there is a need for the Church to rethink its approach, esepecially when Hinduism does not compete in this business of PROSELYTISM.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Daniel Rosaupan:
True, the key word is “convince”–and how much convincing goes into it. When did exploiting poverty became “convincing”?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev, you seem to assume this Bible is solely meant as a tool to convert Hindus. If that were its purpose, I would have a different view of it. The simple fact that it’s in English seems to indicate it is not aimed at the poor, who would probably be better reached with books in their local languages. It cites Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist scriptures, showing it is not aimed at one community. In fact, when you read the footnotes, the impression is that they are mostly meant to help Indian readers — including Christians — understand some concepts in Christianity by comparing them to religious concepts of the main religious communities there. An annotated edition of Hindu scriptures with comparisons to Christianity would help Christians understand them better too. Another with comparisons to Islam would help Muslims understand Hinduism better as well. Since tensions between religions are often based on ignorance, understanding more about each others’ faith seems like a positive thing to me.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

rajeev, you have not seen my point. I have emphasized that it doest mean that because there is tolerance in other parts of India and therefore its alright to have intolerance in one part of India. You again accuse Christians to have slowly killed your Guru—OSHO (Rajneesh). What is your evidence there? America is hostile to Catholicism, remember that. Many Hindus fall away from Hinduism especially the Dalits, what’s to be rethink there? It’s Hinduism who has the problem. Proselytism? I dont think so. Christianity has been there for a long time even before the Portuguese came there. U are asking why there are cross in important structures in Rome? Because that is the Capital of Christianity! It is the seat of St. Peter. The cross over the pagan symbols is a sign that these place was converted from paganism to Christianity when Constantine the Great converted to Christianity. Rajeev, before you attack Catholicism, try first to answer responsively the questions about the behavior of the Hindus toward Christians living in Orissa India and on what grounds do you oppose the use of Indian language of the Catholic Bible? What’s exactly your point? Because for me, you cannot just simply say that what happened in Orissa is negligible. You cannot just close your eyes when the Hindus out there accuses the Christians to be responsible of the killing of a Hindu leader where in truth and in fact, it is the Communists who admitted the crime. And you cannot deny the Catholics their right to use Indian language in preaching the Gospel of Christ to the Indians. For me you have no cause to be indignant and outraged. But still, I wanna hear your substantial reasons for behaving otherwise. And one thing, I am not discrediting Hinduism and Indians per se, but those people who claim to be Hindus but shows any act of intolerance against those who do not share their views especially those Hindus who converted to Christianity.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Read Neogi Commissions Report. It will tell u what all the devious methods the missionaried used in MP to convert innocent people. Then you will realise the aim of the new Indian Version of the Bible. It does’t matter if it is in English. It will be son translated into vernacular languages. Let us not have any doubt it.

Posted by ananth G | Report as abusive

ananth G, why do u say the method was devious? What constitutes devious method?

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Tom:

Thanks for the post.

@Rajeev, you seem to assume this Bible is solely meant as a tool to convert Hindus.
Tom: Are you saying that the Church had no plan at all and is not even thinking about higher “conversions” as a result of this new project? Church might even have a graph for the next 5 yrs with expected conversions.

First, I condemn Orissa killings and against conversion back to Hinduism. That is doing the same thing that the missionaries are doing—converting the ignorants and/or needy.
Indian Constitution has all the provisions to take care of the social discrimination in Indians–I mean casts etc. Let Church or for that matter any other religion not interfere here. I am not saying form legal point of view. If it really does want to help the poor and needy, Church needs to show some altruism and help the needy, not give them “more of the same”.

My central point is there is no need to convert people—willing conversion at individual level is OK. Mass conversions are nothing to do with convincing blah…..Remember Oscar Award winner Rehman (slumdogs). He converted on his own from Hinduism to islam. No one complains. Mayawati is the emerging Dalit leader who can take care of Dalit cause and Church should have one less worry.

Here is the most important part:

At The World’s Parliament of Religions
Chicago, 20th September 1893

Religion Not the Crying Need of India
Swami Vivekanand say:
QUOTE @Christians must always be ready for good criticism and I hardly think that you will mind if I make a little criticism. You Christians, who are so fond of sending out missionaries to save the soul of the heathen – why do you not try to save their bodies from starvation? In India, during the terrible famines, thousands died from hunger, yet you Christians did nothing. You erect churches all through India, but the crying evil in the East is not religion – they have religion enough -but it is bread that the suffering millions of burning India cry out for with parched throats. They ask us for bread, but we give them stones. It is an insult to the starving people to offer them religion; it is an insult to the starving man to teach him metaphysics. In India a priest that preached for money would lose caste and be spat upon by the people. I came here to seek aid for my impoverished people, and I fully realized how difficult it was to get help for heathens from Christians in a Christian land.” UNQUOTE. Conversion is not required.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev, first of all, which church are you talking about? There are many Christian churches and it is usually the evangelical Protestants who are actively proselytising in India and in Muslim countries. The Catholic Church in India says it does not proselytise and it seems that many Hindu and Muslim parents trust it enough to have their children educated in Catholic schools.

Am I saying the Church has no plan at all? I can’t prove a negative, nor can you. But I am not jumping to conclusions about “higher conversions” — I don’t even know what you mean by that — or suggesting without any evidence that the Church has a graph for conversions over the next five years.

As for your point about conversion not being needed, I have no problem with that. I never said conversion was needed.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

Rajeev, before you attack Catholicism, try first to answer responsively the questions about the behavior of the Hindus toward Christians living in Orissa India
–I am not attacking but addressing the issue. I have problems with conversions by luring and exploitation and my-religion-is-better-than-yours philosphy. Orissa was unfortunate and violent act of a fraction of sic people. Indian PM is on the record calling the incident as National Shame. Compare with Regan in OSHO case.

@It’s Hinduism who has the problem.
–Posted by Daniel

-Thanks for agreeing that the conversions are based on my religion-is-better-than-yours philosphy. Luring, exploitation of the populace. Sic!
Problem acc to you are
Dalits casteism—do not worry Indian constitution takes care of it. Dalit leader Mayawati is seen as potential future PM of India. BTW. how do you deal with denominations and disagreements to the level of hate in Christanity.
Poverty? No need to convert. Show som Altruism. Read Sw. Vivekanda speech text I sent to Tom.

@U are asking why there are cross in important structures in Rome? Because that is the Capital of Christianity! It is the seat of St. Peter.

–THE VATICAN, not ROME, is the CAPITAL OF CHRISTANITY and the seat of St. Peter. So having a CROSS in the colosseum that is not at all a religious structure, but a stadium of massive size in ROME, is funny or the physical signs of how the christanity spread there. That was just one example, I noticed so many such cases. Do you know that the Vatican was built by breaking this Colosseum walls (large chunk missing) until it dawned on the Church that quit it and stick the CROSS there. These are the physical signs of the victory of Christanity over pagans (bloodful)– all echoes in the ruins of Rome. I visit is enlightening to even the most unreceptive mind. Pagans, like Hindus, are (oops were) polytheists, and look what happened to them. Pagans are history or converted to christianity. Pantheon the biggest temple is a church now. And you just said “It’s Hinduism who has the problem” adds to the existing feeling that the similar stuff is happening here (I do not get into the demominations games, that;s for you to play amongst Christians just like alleged casteism in Hinduism as an evil). To put the things in context of the blog, NBC is a step in this direction.

@You again accuse Christians to have slowly killed your Guru—OSHO (Rajneesh). What is your evidence there?
–OSHO is not my GURU but I know him enough to say that he is far from a terrorist that the Regan govt tagged him with–sickening-cooking up evidence is what US is good at–see Iraq WMDs). OSHO spoke on Gautam Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, and other mystics—discourses collected into over 600 volumes and translated into 50 languages. OSHO example was for your trying to tell me the legality of conversion in India. True. But where is the morality part (exploitations I mean). Violenec in Orissa was by individuals not state. But in USA, the US govt cooked up evidence against OSHO since US had no legal ground. Reagan was cursed by OSHO that he will die in oblivion (look what a coincidence Regan got Alzhemier’s). He was poisoned with the heavy metal thallium and radiation. “Among others, U.S. Attorney in Portland, Charles Turner, publicly concedes that the government was intent on destroying Rajneeshpuram.” Why? ask yourself? Here is more for you “Greek police forcibly break into the house where He is staying, arrest Him at gun point, and deport him. Greek media reports indicate government and church pressure provoked the police intervention”. if you put all together and you will see role of christanity in the whole thing–I am not the first one to say so. The guy who suffered was not an ordinary person.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Correction
To put the things in context of the blog, NCB is a step in this direction.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I thank u rajeev for acknowledging the Orissa incident as unfortunate. And also the evil of Caste system such that the government is legislationg policies against the same. Now, although this is already not in response to Tom’s article or blog, but I would like to address your objections point by point.

Obj 1. I have problems with conversions by luring and exploitation and my-religion-is-better-than-yours philosphy.

Ans. One fundamental belief of Jesus Christ is there is only one God and therefore you shall not worship other gods. The existence of Christian and Jewish characters can be traced and proved scientifically, historically and theologically. The reason why Christians preaches the Gospel because it is our mission to preach the truth, not because of exploitation or deception. IT IS MOTIVATED BY LOVE. And if one is CONVINCED about our religion, then he is welcomed. In other words, the conversion is voluntary that no one must prevent. This is not exploitation for there is no deception here. Their will is not vitiated sInce THEY ARE NOT PROMISED OF MATERIAL WEALTH.

Obj. 2. how do you deal with denominations and disagreements to the level of hate in Christanity.

Ans. We have ecumenical dialogue with any dissenters of our faith.

Obj. 3 Poverty? No need to convert. Show som Altruism.

Ans. What poverty, material or spiritual? The Church addresses spiritual poverty while the state addresses material poverty. During poverty, people may be tempted to commit crime like murder against those who are financially better because of resentment or to steal another’s property, he must be therefore spiritually strong that he may not commit this crimes. If one authority will say that we do not need religion but bread, that is just his own opinion. The Church had witnessed the history of mankind and how they behave in various situations, so the Church knows better how to deal this people spiritually than any governments. That is why, it is the Catholic Church who has established hospitals to care the sick, charitable institutions to feed the hungry, schools to care the illiterate for these are spiritual obligations. Maybe you have to know the contributions of the Catholic Church to the world civilization which even your country had benefited from.

Obj. 4 THE VATICAN, not ROME, is the CAPITAL OF CHRISTANITY and the seat of St. Peter.

Ans. Try to check your history rajeev, from the time of Peter up to 1929,the City of Rome (in which the Vatican is part) was the seat of Christianity. This explains of the ancient crosses we have in Rome. It was only through the Lateran Treaty in 1929 which brought the city-state into existence, spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III). That is in fact the reason why we have Roman Catholics in the first place. And it took many lives and blood of Christian martyrs just to convert pagan Rome to Christianity from the time of St. Peter up to the time of Constantine.

Obj. 5 OSHO is not my GURU but I know him enough to say that he is far from a terrorist that the Regan govt tagged him with–sickening-cooking up evidence is what US is good at–see Iraq WMDs). Greek media reports indicate government and church pressure provoked the police intervention”.

Ans.Assuming it is true, but please remember once again that Reagan is not a Catholic and America until now is a hostile country to Christianity particularly to the Catholic Church. As to Greece, is Greece a theocratic country? I doubt. Media reports are just speculations and there is no evidence to confirm it. It’s easy to accuse anyone to commit a crime, but accusations without evidence always results to injustice to the institution accused. Catholics are always taught to love thy enemies. If the Guru is perceived to be an enemy, the Church will always open its door for dialogue. And we have done that, even to the Muslims. So please do not be deceive that the Catholic Church is the mastermind of his death.

To wrap up:

So I appeal to u rajeev not to be outraged of having a Bible that uses Indian language. Again, Indians are not being coerced to convert to Christianity. Neither they are exploited for the core message of Christianity is love and not deception.If this people has been deceived, dont worry, they will surely reconvert to Hinduism. After all, you are not prevented to say the perceived deceptions made by Catholics if any. And the converts can very well assess for themselves whether your accusation is true or false.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Tom

By Church I meant Christanity–including but not limited to Catholics.

@But the Catholic Church in India says it does not proselytise
—it does.

When one faith start identifying fault with the other, it is natural that the sooner or later the problems will arise.

But I am glad to know that you feel that conversion is not needed.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Tom:

Is the quote ““The same kind of distinction underlies the caste system in India. The ‘dalits’ are treated as ‘untouchables’ …………” really mentioned in NCB.

@The NCB notes that Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by the Sermon on the Mount and uses Jesus’s criticism of the Jewish purity laws as an opportunity to make a wider point about Indian society today: “The same kind of distinction underlies the caste system in India. The ‘dalits’ are treated as ‘untouchables’ by the so-called ‘clean’ castes, because the kind of work they do brings them into touch with ‘polluting’ things and so makes them in Hindu society ritually impure. Jesus completely abolishes this kind of purity/pollution distinction. He shows that true ‘purity’ (that is, fitness for worshipping God) does not depend on external things but upon the attitudes of the heart.”

My questions:
If yes, is it not picking up on the Hinduism wrt to caste system? Yes I can see the comparison etc explanation. But what it means is that one of the major point on which conversions are made is now formally incoportated in NCB. Hmmm..

Does it say that Indian constitution deals with the caste system?

I’ll appreciate if you can explain or anyone else can comment too.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev, there are big differences among Christian denominations and you can’t throw them all in the same pot as you do. It’s not enough to say “When one faith start identifying fault with the other, it is natural that the sooner or later the problems will arise.”

I cannot understand your question: “is it not picking up on the Hinduism wrt to caste system?” What does ‘wrt’ mean?

Probably because of that illegible question, I also do not understand the assumption you make about “one of the major point on which conversions are made is now formally incoportated in NCB.” I can’t say whether the NCB mentions the Indian constitution because I did not read it all and do not have a copy (as I said, it is sold out). I am now in Amman and have no access to an NCB. Maybe another reader can answer this question.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

Tom:
@there are big differences among Christian denominations and you can’t throw them all in the same pot as you do.
–I confess that I am not an expert in understanding completely the denominations of Christianity and I don’t have to be the one to address the issue at hand. I am no one to judge a Christian from X or Y denomination. In Hinduism, believed to be having GODS/deities as the population of India, perhaps, the only way to go is to respect each other’s personal belief system. And that’s how it has been going.

My central point is “systematic conversions”. I have no problem if one Hindu (irrespective of the caste) suddenly wakes up seeing a strong message in Christianity and wishes to convert. That’s great–go ahead, I will say.
But I am strongly against systemetic conversions. The reason is that they are based on mostly, let us say 1. lower casts (untouchables, now called Dalits). 2. poverty. Now that’s hardly a secret that conversions to Christanity have been happening and that includes not only protestants but catholics too—irrespective of what the Catholic Church in India says that it does not proselytise.

@ I cannot understand your question: “is it not picking up on the Hinduism wrt to caste system?” What does ‘wrt’ mean?
–wrt to means with respect to. I repeat below to clarify. In your article you mentioned this:
@The NCB notes that Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by the Sermon on the Mount and uses Jesus’s criticism of the Jewish purity laws as an opportunity to make a wider point about Indian society today: “The same kind of distinction underlies the caste system in India. The ‘dalits’ are treated as ‘untouchables’ by the so-called ‘clean’ castes, because the kind of work they do brings them into touch with ‘polluting’ things and so makes them in Hindu society ritually impure. Jesus completely abolishes this kind of purity/pollution distinction. He shows that true ‘purity’ (that is, fitness for worshipping God) does not depend on external things but upon the attitudes of the heart.”

—Is the above quote by Mahatama Gandhi ““The same kind of distinction underlies the caste system in India. The ‘dalits’ are treated as ‘untouchables’ by the ……….” printed in the New Christian Bible (NCB)? If it is so, then it is amounting to exploiting what Mahatma Gandhi said about Dalits 60 yrs ago, and my assumption that proselytisation is based upon this factor that Hindus have caste sysem and lower casts are untouchable and everything becomes hunky dory in Christanity. So what is the point of this quote in NCB? Tom, let it be clear that “NO ONE IS UNTOUCHABLE IN INDIA BY LAW AND THE PRACTICE OF UNTOUCHABILITY IS AN OFFENSE”. You can see the progress being made. The constitution came into existence after Mahatma Gandhi passed away. I wish you mentioned that in your article and NCB has a disclaimer with 4 font text in one of those footnotesLet me know once you find out. I am in US right now so I won’t know. Also, Sw Vivekananda’s speech says a lot about the issue of conversion and that was a century ago in the United States.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev, let me answer point by point your objections against the Catholic Church.

Objection #1 I have problems with conversions by luring and exploitation and my-religion-is-better-than-yours philosphy. Thanks for agreeing that the conversions are based on my religion-is-better-than-yours philosphy. Luring, exploitation of the populace. Sic!

Ans. Exploitation and deception is not a vocabulary of the Catholic Churh. My-religion-is-better-than-yours-philoso phy is not accurate either. The Catholic believes that there is only one God, and one Church to which all people must enter. This is the Gospel that we want to preach. Ours is motivated by truth and love, not exploitation and competition that ours is better as you want to put it.

Obj #2 how do you deal with denominations and disagreements to the level of hate in Christanity.

Answer. Simple, we do it thru ecumenical dialogue. All ecumenical dialogues between religions are initiated by the Catholic Church. I haven’t known any religion to have initiated the same except the Catholic Church for the core doctrine of Christianity is peace, faith, hope and love.

Obj #3 Poverty? No need to convert. Show som Altruism.

Ans. There is a need for conversion especially one’s heart. In times of crisis, people must not be tempted to steal, or do criminal acts against other people. Only thru spiritual conversion can this things be possible for a person who is hungry knows not even a single letter of the law. The Catholic Church have been addressing this issue for several centuries. That is the reason why we have the biggest charitable institutions in the world runned by the Catholic Church to feed the hungry. Not only that, the Catholic Church pioneered hospitals, universities, science laboratories, international governance, etc, which contributed significantly to the world civilization that even India had benefited.

Obj #4 THE VATICAN, not ROME, is the CAPITAL OF CHRISTANITY and the seat of St. Peter

Ans. Please consult again your history rajeev. From the time of Peter up to 1929, Rome, where Vatican is situated has been considered the capital of Christianity. Early Church fathers always points out to Rome such that the maxim that says “Rome has spoken, the case is closed” became famous because it is the seat of Peter. That is why, the western Catholics are called Roman Catholics in the first place. That explains why ancient crosses are found on the major structures of Rome. Only then in the Lateran Treaty in 1929, which brought the city-state into existence, spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756-1870) that had previously encompassed central Italy.

Obj.#5 OSHO is not my GURU but I know him enough to say that he is far from a terrorist that the Regan govt tagged him with

Ans. Rajeev, assuming arguendo your facts are true, u failed to remember that Reagan is not a Catholic and he is a President of a country who is hostile to Christianity especially Catholic Church. Do not attribute to the Catholic Church crimes which are allegedly done by others.

Obj. #6 Greek media reports indicate government and church pressure provoked the police intervention”.

Ans> Why do u rely on hearsays? Media reports without any evidence should not be accepted as Gospel truth! As you can see, the Catholic Church had experienced in several instances false accusations by the media. Example on this is the condom remarks, regensburgh remarks, and the lifting up of SSPX excommunication in which the Church is portrayed as insensitive, offensive and ignorant trying to convey an interpretation which is totally out of context. That is ridiculous!

oBJ# 7 But I am strongly against systemetic conversions. I have no problem if one Hindu (irrespective of the caste) suddenly wakes up seeing a strong message in Christianity and wishes to convert

Ans. I find it conflicting that while you are against the systematic conversions(sic) as you call it, but not if one day a Hindu suddenly wakes up seeing a strong message in Christianity and wishes to convert. Please consider that a Hindu will not be able to convert to Christianity if he had not heard or read the Gospel thru preaching.In other words, he must be able to read the Bible which uses Indian language, hear the priest using an Indian language and understand the same and this is of course can be done thru preaching before a large audience or community. The Catholic Church as I said will never use deception (in your words proselytizing) just to achieve systematic conversion(sic) of Indians to Christianity. Besides, you are free to repudiate if there are any attacks or deception by the Catholic Church against Hinduism. After all, if the candidates for conversion believes that they have been deceived, I don’t think they will proceed to convert to Catholicism. They can very well assess each other’s arguments

To sum up:

One has the right to convert and be converted by any means for as long as there is no violence and deception. One has no reason to criticize if a CATHOLIC Bible uses Indian culure to explain the context of the Gospel especially to the Dalits who don’t have formal education and knowledge of the outside world for this is the most effctive way that an Indian can RELATE and UNDERSTAND the teachings of Christ. After all, we all have the freedom whether to accept or reject the Gospel. Let the people exercise that freedom thru their own judgment.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Thanx Tom, I stand corrected that the NCB was written in English.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Daniel Rosaupan:
Where do you live anyways, if it is not a secret. I am an Indian in US. I have friends of all religions you name—Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Buddhists. And atheists, agonists.

For all your points, must I say something: You are stuck with the word “catholic church” while I talk about Christanity. I am not convinced that how other denominations can tolerate your this hegemony. This works against your point #2. I am most happy if it is working among denominations.

#1 @Ans. Exploitation and deception is not a vocabulary of the Catholic Churh. My-religion-is-better-than-yours-philoso phy is not accurate either. THE CATHOLIC BELIEVES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, AND ONE CHURCH TO WHICH ALL PEOPLE MUST ENTER. THIS IS THE GOSPEL THAT WE WANT TO PREACH. Ours is motivated by truth and love, not exploitation and competition that ours is better as you want to put it.
–Daniel, I did not even expect a bit that you can agree to “Exploitation and deception” as tools sometimes used for conversions—For that one has to objective, which you are not because my GOD is the only GOD puts you in a position of disadvantage. Would you go over and read the sentence in CAPS again. This means everyone else in the world follow the catholics, right by singing the gospel. Then why am I wrong by saying that you are following “my-religion-is-better-than-yours philosophy” Christianity was born when Hinduism and many other religions and civilizations were flourishing. Were they GODless? Or were they waiting for the Christianity to be born to take them to Church to show the real GOD. I can understand it is hard for you to understand and come out of this. But then do not complain if someone else feels he is righteous enough to make you follow his way. Is religious hegemony central theme of Abrahamic religions?
Perhaps Mahatma Gandhi was thinking of Christians like you when he said “I LIKE YOUR CHRIST, I DO NOT LIKE YOUR CHRISTIANS. YOUR CHRISTIANS ARE SO UNLIKE YOUR CHRIST.” I think the author of the article should have asked himself what Mahatma Gandhi thinks about Christianity. I am saying bec Mahatma Gandhi’s quote on untouchables is mentioned upfront.
Daniel, Jesus would not have forced himself upon others and you are doing precisely that. In contrast to your religious hegemony, here is a hymn recited by Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago on 9/11/1893: “As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.” Hinduism says follow your way to reach the GOD. But you in your blissful ignorance say the highway to reach GOD is through the Catholic Church. This is the difference between Hinduism and Christanity.

@#2 Answer. Simple, we do it thru ecumenical dialogue. All ecumenical dialogues between religions are initiated by the Catholic Church. I haven’t known any religion to have initiated the same except the Catholic Church for the core doctrine of Christianity is peace, faith, hope and love.
–I can go further on this but I can say that if that’s so I am happy for you Christians the—I hope your fellow non-catholic Christians agree with you. BUT “I haven’t known any religion to have….” Again the superiority of the Catholic Church!!!!!!! “Peace, faith, hope and love.”—I am sure all religions teach that or don’t they, Daniel. Or Don’t they?

@#3 Poverty/altrusim? That is the reason why we have the biggest charitable institutions in the world runned by the Catholic Church to feed the hungry. Not only that, the Catholic Church pioneered hospitals, universities, science laboratories, international governance, etc, which contributed significantly to the world civilization that even India had benefited.
— Vivekananda said that India have had enough of religion and all the needy should be imposed is help. Why are you feeding the poor and erecting stone buildings? Check your #1 point where you stated “ THE CATHOLIC BELIEVES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, AND ONE CHURCH TO WHICH ALL PEOPLE MUST ENTER. THIS IS THE GOSPEL THAT WE WANT TO PREACH.”. So this is not altruism—may be in your dictionary. Although I am not a product of Catholic schools (I am product of good old Govt aided schools/colleges/university and have not taken a penny from any Christian institution, but say thanks on behalf of those Indians who benifitted. But let it be clear this is no altruism going on here.

@Obj #4 THE VATICAN, not ROME, is the CAPITAL OF CHRISTANITY and the seat of St. Peter. Please consult again your history rajeev. From the time of Peter up to 1929, Rome, where Vatican is situated has been considered the capital of Christianity.
–You and I can do mental gymnastics here all week long, but you know very well that Vatican is separate city/nation from Italy/Rome. Pulling out age-old quotes does not help here. But It is not a big issue for me. It was a point I had to make where it was relevant. But did you fix your records that the Mosque in Rome is not the biggest in the world—it is the biggest in Europe—built with Saudi $$$$?

@#5Ans. Rajeev, assuming arguendo your facts are true, u failed to remember that Reagan is not a Catholic and he is a President of a country who is hostile to Christianity especially Catholic Church. Do not attribute to the Catholic Church crimes which are allegedly done by others.
–Fixated on Catholic again? Did it was done by Catholic? NO. Will you be OK if it is by Protestant and Catholic had nothing to do with it? I guess you will not defend Christianity in that case. I talk about Christianity and you are fixated on the denomination issue. Go back to you point # 2, you vindicate me on denomination issue—Christianity is not any different from caste system in Hindus or from Shia-Sunni in Islam.

@Obj. #6 Greek media reports indicate government and church pressure provoked the police intervention”.
-Because you don’t like it the news is not reliable?. How many news you trust without evidence—most of them, right? That bit of news was for you in interest of the space and my time. Well I have score of friends who are OSHO followers and definitely do not believe heresays and I trust them and there is volumes of literature and pieces of that talk about this issue too. Well you give me a good reason to oppose it–what might have happened to throw the guy out. OSHO was no threat to US politically or any other country. You do not want to believe—your choice. Message conveyed from my side.

@ #7 I find it conflicting that while you are against the systematic conversions(sic) as you call it, but not if one day a Hindu suddenly wakes up seeing a strong message in Christianity and wishes to convert.
–That was just restricted to dream. But Pleeeeeeese see the essence of the message than start preaching. Conflict is in your mind. Individual vs systematic. Under normal conditions, Daniel I will be repulsed by the way you describe the scene. Hinduism was there before Christianity came into existence. They were all peace loving Hindus with their own ways (several ways) to reach GOD -you got to do terrain check before you jump in a territory. How much you know about Hinduism to say that your way is the only way to reach GOD. I can afford to live without reading about Christianity since I am not into Conversion business, but you cannot—that in my mind will be a sin on your part. Have you explored other ways before you say “THE ONLY GOD”. I don’t have to. I am fine with your ways as long as you keep it to youself and respect mine. Daniel, this is sensitive stuff—be careful what you wish for. The world is a messy place due to misinterpretation of religion and religious hegemony.

@Let the people exercise that freedom thru their own judgment.
–Not judgement. Luring, brainwashing is the proper word, mostly. When did converting tribals in masses is equal to their freedom to judge. LET THEM BE. LET PEOPLE BE WHAT THEY ARE. FORGET MY GOD IS BETTER THAN YOUR GOD STUFF—It is not workable system. I have no idea where you are sitting. If you are outside India, you are morally wrong since you do not know the long term consequences of the whole thing in India. But I guess all you care is numbers of catholics.
Let it be clear to you proselytism is happening. But I guess you are concerned only with Catholics—but that too does—who cares what it says in Vatican. Ground situation is proselytism by Catholic Church is going on.
Daniel, have tolerance and acceptance for other religions and quit this religious supremacy. You are not spreading light but the darkness of ignorance.
I wondered why Mohandas Gandhi said “I think it would be a good idea!” in reply to a reporter who asked “What do you think of Western Civilization?”. Any idea Daniel when you combine that he disliked Christians—pretty harsh and coming from a non-violent person. Must be strin reason right. And for how much he fought for the cause of “untouchables” (illegal name now, called Dalits) he did not prescribe Christianity for them “He said “I would far rather that Hinduism died than untouchability lived.”

Also read Richard Dawkins, a well known British ethologist and popular science author who wrote “GOD delusion”. He says “GOD almost certainly does not exist” and he defined his GOD Abrhamic religion GOD and talked about Christianity. He said Hinduism and Buddhism are sophisticated. Then according to him, I am not sure what you are spreading then through Gospel. But I say let him feel what he says and let me cointinue with my beliefs.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Tom:
I uploaded a post and did not see yet. Here is the abridged version. Please let this go through.

Daniel and Tom:
Do you know that in addition to the quote by Mahatama Gandhi on untouchability, what was his views on Christianity and Christians. I think they deserved space upfront in the article if we are truly looking out for understanding each other’s faiths (at least quote #1). Or are we being selective.

This is what he said:
1. “I LIKE YOUR CHRIST, I DO NOT LIKE YOUR CHRISTIANS. YOUR CHRISTIANS ARE SO UNLIKE YOUR CHRIST.”

2. In reply to a reporter ho asked him “What do you think of Western Civilization?”, he said “I think it would be a good idea!”

Daniel, I said you christians believe in “my-religion-is-better-than-yours” philosophy. And replied “THE CATHOLIC BELIEVES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, AND ONE CHURCH TO WHICH ALL PEOPLE MUST ENTER. THIS IS THE GOSPEL THAT WE WANT TO PREACH.” Wow!!!! THis is even worse than what I thought. That means The GOD(s) of Hindus is not a GOD. Daniel, you (Christianity and related Abrahamic religons) are just 2000 old phenomenenon and 2500 yrs ago Indus valley civilization was existing and existing and flourishing; Hindu scriptures had been writen. Now you are telling us and the world that the only GOD is what you believe in. you are not spreading Christianity, you are using money to spread the ignorance, extinguishing the lasting flames of spirituality.

Here is a hymn from a Hindu holy scripture “As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.” Hinduism says follow your way to reach the GOD. But you in your blissful ignorance say the highway to reach GOD is through the Catholic Church. This is the difference between Hinduism and Christanity.

No wonder even a non-violent person like Gandhi used the word “dislike” in Quote #1–perhaps he was thinking at that time about the likes of you.

But tell me why are you so fixated over Catholic hegemony–like alleged caste system in Hindus, Shia/Sunni in Islam. I say this again that I am talking about the whole christianity. Church may say whatever that it does not proselytyze, situation on the ground is different.

Tom: I am seeing the shifting times in India in terms of religion. This religious hegemony will not work in the sense that for Indian society, this whole attitude will create trouble. whatever said and done, Indian society is going to suffer or enjoy all this. The suspicion is increasing in intensity and expanding in the country. I hardly cared earlier, but I do care these days—-not as a Hindu but as a citizen–on behalf of all Indians. To Daniel they may be Catholic or non-catholic, but to me all of them are Indians. As I said earlier, there is aneed to be a shift—Daniel’s GOD as the only GOD is a trouble for India.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev, that is just your opinion that we are deceiving and proselytizing Hindus. You have no evidence. In fact, Hindus are in a better position to explain the faith to the poor Indians than Christians since majority of Indians are born to Hinduism and is the religion that they were accustomed to.

I understand that from the point of view of non Christian, Protestants as well as Catholics are Christians. They are not the same for Jesus Christ founded only one Church, not many.

As to your argument that since I believe that there is only one God therefore I am intolerant, you are committing an error in logic. The Catholic Church had tolerated all religions notwithstanding that it believes that there is only One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and there is only One God and anyone who does not believe us, we do not compel them to do so. If your belief is true that we are intolerant, we should have acted the same with Al Qaeda.

@ As to your argument that Christianity was born when Hinduism and many other religions and civilizations were flourishing. Were they GODless?

My answer is no, they were not. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, he who had not heard the Word of God through no fault of their own shall be judged according to their works. And Rajeev, you comitted a mistake that the God of Christians only existed when Christianity was born. For your information, Christianity is the fuklfillment of the Jewish religion. Judaism can be traced way back to ADAm and Eve and from them the Prophets had descended.

@Daniel, Jesus would not have forced himself upon others and you are doing precisely that.

Rajeev, not because we believe in One God and One Church therefore we are forcing Jesus to you. Your logic indeed is faulty. If we are forcing Jesus to you, then we dont have to preach, we will use violence instead since we can convert the whole nation istead of preaching just like what the Talibans are doing. Il give you this example, a daughter who doesnt know who her father is. Years laterhis true father came to tell her that I am your father. Following your logic, the father is forcing himself to the Child. Isnt that absurd?

@“I LIKE YOUR CHRIST, I DO NOT LIKE YOUR CHRISTIANS. YOUR CHRISTIANS ARE SO UNLIKE YOUR CHRIST.”

I admit that the followers of Christ are not perfect for even Judas betrayed Jesus. But that doesnt mean that the Church of Christ had diminished of its truthfullness and holiness for Jesus Christ is God. Our Church is not founded by man but by God for God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son. The Church is for men, not for God.

@Again the superiority of the Catholic Church!!!!!!! “Peace, faith, hope and love.”—I am sure all religions teach that or don’t they, Daniel. Or Don’t they?

Well, truth really hurts. Your answer seems to be anchored on a wrong premise. Superiority is not equal to truth. We are not concerned rajeev to be superior but the truth. If indeed all religions preaches faith, hope and love, then why there are many lies being spread against the Catholic Church? Why there are many priests. and nuns who are beheaded or raped? Many Christians are being killed? And you know the reason? Simply for being a catholic Christian.

@Vivekananda said that India have had enough of religion and all the needy should be imposed is help.

I have answered that question already, that one needs a conversion of heart etc. You did not even bother to refute that because there is a need ryt?

@But did you fix your records that the Mosque in Rome is not the biggest in the world—it is the biggest in Europe—built with Saudi $$$$?

You get me wrong, I said one of the biggest mosques in the world rajeev. I didnt say the biggest mosque in the world. But that is immaterial. What I tried to point out there was the physical evidence of religious tolerance of the Catholic Church.

@#5Ans. Rajeev, assuming arguendo your facts are true, u failed to remember that Reagan is not a Catholic and he is a President of a country who is hostile to Christianity especially Catholic Church. Do not attribute to the Catholic Church crimes which are allegedly done by others.
–Fixated on Catholic again? Did it was done by Catholic? NO. Will you be OK if it is by Protestant and Catholic had nothing to do with it? I guess you will not defend Christianity in that case. I talk about Christianity and you are fixated on the denomination issue.

Rajeev, you are not responsive to the issue. Check what you have written for I copied it in my comment and please do not deviate from the context of my comment.

@Go back to you point # 2, you vindicate me on denomination issue—Christianity is not any different from caste system in Hindus or from Shia-Sunni in Islam.

Denomination is different from caste system Rajeev! huh! Caste system refers to the social status of the person while denomination refers to different sects who fall away from the Catholic Church yet who believes Jesus Christ as God.

@Because you don’t like it the news is not reliable?. How many news you trust without evidence—most of them, right?

Rajeev, I have given you the examples already. Maybe your answer is the best way for you to repudiate the truth that most foreign media outlets are hostile to Catholicism. You are not again responsive to the issue I presented. Please read again the examples I have given.

@That was just restricted to dream. But Pleeeeeeese see the essence of the message than start preaching. Conflict is in your mind. Individual vs systematic.

Again, I do not subscribe to your term systematic. But I would agree if you say preaching is done in mass audiences. That’s more accurate. And that contributes either to the individual or mass conversion rajeev. I hope u understand too the essence of my comment

@Daniel I will be repulsed by the way you describe the scene. Hinduism was there before Christianity came into existence. They were all peace loving Hindus with their own ways (several ways) to reach GOD -you got to do terrain check before you jump in a territory. How much you know about Hinduism to say that your way is the only way to reach GOD.

No question about that. But if you conclude that therefore we have no right to preach what we believe, that is where we will not agree. We have the right to convert people to our faith and we will do this in goodwill, not by violence and deception.

@And for how much he fought for the cause of “untouchables” (illegal name now, called Dalits) he did not prescribe Christianity for them “He said “I would far rather that Hinduism died than untouchability lived.”

That is just his opinion rajeev and we are not bound by it. I hope someday we can talk in person. I understand that what you have in mind about Christians are the lies that you hear from the media. If ever I speak strong words and avoids any euphemism, that doesnt mean that we are intolerant. I hope you will have a friend who is well adepth to catholicism so that you may understand why we believe this theology. Why we believe in One God? Why we believe in one religion? This forum is not enough rajeev. I dont think you have known any miracles that actually happened like in France that even French authorities will not attempt to belie.

@Also read Richard Dawkins, a well known British ethologist and popular science author who wrote “GOD delusion”. He says “GOD almost certainly does not exist” and he defined his GOD Abrhamic religion GOD and talked about Christianity. He said Hinduism and Buddhism are sophisticated. Then according to him, I am not sure what you are spreading then through Gospel. But I say let him feel what he says and let me cointinue with my beliefs.

Again, the world civilization that even Britain is enjoing today was the product of the Gospel. Europe has betrayed their Christian heritage and that’s the reason why their collapse is apparrent. Greediness is an example on how they betrayed Christianity. Till next time

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

@Here is a hymn from a Hindu holy scripture “As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.” Hinduism says follow your way to reach the GOD. But you in your blissful ignorance say the highway to reach GOD is through the Catholic Church. This is the difference between Hinduism and Christanity.

rajeev, we are now going to the theological aspect. I’l ask u that you may understand that there is only one God and One Religion. My question is, is it possible to have 5 governments in one country? If no, so is religion. you cannot have 5 Gods or religion for one humanity. There is only one creator in this world to whom we must obey all the commandments. You cannot drink the cup of mammon and the cup of God. You cannot serve two masters at the same time. My analogy is just as if you want to go to India, you must take the prescribe route, more so in going with God.

Posted by daniel rosaupan | Report as abusive

@My question is, is it possible to have 5 governments in one country? If no, so is religion. you cannot have 5 Gods or religion for one humanity. There is only one creator in this world to whom we must obey all the commandments. You cannot drink the cup of mammon and the cup of God. You cannot serve two masters at the same time. My analogy is just as if you want to go to India, you must take the prescribe route, more so in going with God.
- Posted by daniel rosaupan

–Daniel,
You are used to 2+2 =4 maths. Quadratic eqautions are harder. This extends to religions.

Well if you are comfortable with such superficial analogies of religion and govt(!), let me try. The next question arises is how do you know which is the best govt (best religion). For example, this conviction that one and only one form of the govt i.e, DEMOCRACY, is the most suitable for the world has proven to be destructive. Systems vary from place to place. Iraq may adopt democracy today but this is superficial system. So systems vary and imposing is clear cut stupidity, but even teaching them without understanding the details is ignorance.

Daniel, you did not understand the hymn. It is very simple. Read it again–I promise you won;t become a Hindu!
Hymn: “As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

Hymn says GOD (THEE) is one, but there are different ways to reach there. It is everyone’s own perception about GOD. All religions thus far know is prophets, Gurus, Swamis, Lords, some by long shot call SON OF GOD. In Hinduism it is so many holy scriptures and the deities and the message they convey that each one follows to reach the ultimate truth. Hinduism can be confusing if one is looking for a simple answer, since there is none. So there are different ways to reach the TRUTH by the ultimate reality the “GOD”. No one has seen the THEE, the GOD. But what you are saying that to reach GOD (you do not define who is GOD), the only way is the way you follow—enter church to board the train that goes ot GOD. That must be something. If that OK, let us say you do not force yourself upon others, but neither you think that theirs might be the alternate way to reach the same GOD than the church highway. This is intolerance. When christians have been given free reign, they decimated pagans, who are also polytheists like Hindus. If a christian can use that violent way at one place, he/she can do it in the case of Hinduism too, except the agreesion is different since force will not work here.
Mahtama Gandhi’s statement were mentioned to give both sides of the coins—what he thinks about Dalits and what he thinks about Christians.

I had lunch with church-going catholic friend in US yesterday. He does not have answers to my questions. Nor does my Indian friends, a couple (orthodox Christians) living in US and are in this profession of church full-time and are here on religious visa. All I get from them is what you say, meaning the most unconvincing stuff.

Have you noticed who decimated the civilizations
1. the pagans in Rome,
2. the Native Indians (Columbus went looking for India and mistakenly landed in America. I guess if he maded in correct India, Hindus would have faced the same fate as Native Americans. Many were killed and the remaining were convereted by Christian missionaries. None of their perhaps six hundred tribal traditions emphasized conversion and proselytization, so it was unclear to Natives them why the Christians wanted everyone to worship the same way they did. Some of the methods used were cruel: taking children away from their families to attend missionary boarding schools where they were punished for infractions such as speaking in their native language. To many, this time was a Holocaust that robbed them of their tribal tongues and traditions and replaced them with empty promises of a God of love who punished with a sharp whip.
3. the Incas…Google to enlighten yourself.
4. the Australian aboriginals. So there were hybrid kids of white australian/aboriginal parents. The forcible kidnapping of these half race kids was undertaken to grow them and mate them with pure white to dilute the aboriginal color(stopped only in 70s). This was very systematic according to genetic principlas. (based upon documentary)
5. Now the tribals in India. Be in denial mode, but it was funny that you are brought in Al-Qaida. I think Al-Qaida hardly has such a shining resume as you through your narrow mindedness called, Christianity Incorporation are spreading in this world.
6. Who dropped the only thus far used nuclear weapon killion so many and mutating the genes to spread inheritable disease through generations. This is worse that what Hitler did to Jews.
7. Who is killing more than 100,000 in the middle east.

Now #1-#7 are starightforward acts of christainty. Next 2 can be said to be political but I do not buy this. I will say that the Christian religion of the commanders (all of them who decisions are christians) does not give them enough strength and understanding to unleash this terror to kill thousands just because they are mainloy non-christians. This is the contribution of Christanity to humanity. Pretty uncivilized, intolerant. Guns/Bombs kill the majority of non-christians and a missinary follows to convert the remaining–this is the general feature.

Tell me this, if a person (Christian) can commit a crime in one neighbourhood against a class of people (Native americans, pagans, Incas and…)?, what prevents him from not doing so in the other neighbourhood (India) against the similar class of people (Hindus and other related people like Pagans and natiuve americans)? Is it just the lack of opportunity and the person is not powerful enough so the person doing with low intensity methods?

Have you ever thought about that list—the contributions of Vhristanity– and cried over this if you really care about peace, love and blah…..? Any stone-hearted person will. It is funny you talk GOD but remember such an immoral history. You need to act what you preach.

That’s why Gandhi said “I LIKE YOUR CHRIST, I DO NOT LIKE YOUR CHRISTIANS. YOUR CHRISTIANS ARE SO UNLIKE YOUR CHRIST.”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev, I understand if you will not be convinced since you made a judgment already. But I noticed that you have no clear understanding between Protestantism and the Catholic Church.

Australia is not at Catholic country. I hope you have watched that it was the Members of the Parliament of australia who asked apology about the Abrogines. And I hope you were able to watch when Pope Benedict XVI visited Australia how the Abrogines loved him.

As to Pagan Rome, please read again your history how the Pagan Rome persecuted the Christians. The conversion of Constantine the Great was not by means of violence. Please learn the History ofChristianity in its entirety so that you will not arrive at a false conclusion rajeev.

As to Latin America, yes, the King of Spain and Portugal made some inhumane acts against the Indios (this is the name given to us who had been colonized). Even in my country Philippines I acknowledge that. But such was not sanctioned by the Catholic Church. The Jesuits were even victims of these Kings when they tried to set up an ideal community true to the teachings of Christ which upholds human dignity and equality. They were suppressed. In my country during the Spanish regime, three Priests were executed for speaking against the King of Spain. I hope you now know the difference between a secular act and ecclesiastical act.

As to you comment on no. 6&7, this is once again came from a false presumption. It was USA who dropped the bomb in Hiroshima if that’s what you are trying to pint out. Rajeev, how many times I will tell u that Since 1700 when USA became an independent country, this has been built with an anti Catholic foundations. Please learn again the difference between Protestantism and Catholicism. There is only one Church built by Christ and not many. Is that difficult to understand? Ever since, America has been hostile to Catholic Church. You said that you are living in America. How come you do not know such basic facts?

@Hymn: “As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

I will again tell you what the Catholic Church believes. We believe in Unity in diversity. Not uniformity. But definitely, you cannot reach God by worshipping another God. You cannot reach India by taking the route going to Zimbabwe. We have a different God Rajeev. Brahma Vishnu Siva is not the trinity of Christians. For if we do, then we will have same commandments. But as I have said, this forum is not enuf. There are still many things you have to understand about Christianity. You may have a Church going friend, but what he hears on the Church are only sermons. Not theology. You can understand Christianity by delving more into its doctrinal aspect. Watch EWTN that you may have a glimpse on what is our faith

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

@We have a different God Rajeev.
– Posted by Daniel Rosaupan

-Oh, that’s getting interesting. And who is that GOD? Asking since no one is so sure unless what is joking or is enlightened.

@USA became an independent country, this has been built with an anti Catholic foundations.
-How many times you need to be told that you are stuck on CATHLOLIC. I talk about Christianity. caste system is far better perhaps. In other words all other nearly 100 denominations of christianity are irrelevent to you. Talk about Christianity, not just Cathlolics. The issue is not the space here—you are not ready to view from another perspective and in nutshell I am seeing you not tolerant towards not even other reliogions, but other denominations. This is based upon your basic rationale that road to reach the Christian GOD is through Catholic Church. Oh the enlightened one, the facts is all non-cathlolic do not enter Catholic church (and true for all denominations) so perhaps they cannot reach GOD.

My views are based on my experience and I have walked through Rome and payed extreme attnetion to the details and they jump out on you evennthough that was not my purpose. FYI my christian friends here, one family is into theology and can be assessed based on the fact that the guy is in USA on R visa and I have detailed discussion with him.

You are a hardcore guy and that happens in any religion they do not have ears for other views.

And finally in context of the blog, learn some history of India and its all sorts of pluralism. In India, this is the context in which conversions to christianity will happen or will be stopped from happening. The GOD issue is much complicated than the simplistic explanations. What are your views about Richard Dawkins “GOD Delusion”?

Think about Christianity and make Jesus happy. Put less emphasis on denominations even though you are a catholic.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@As to Pagan Rome, please read again your history how the Pagan Rome persecuted the Christians. The conversion of Constantine the Great was not by means of violence. Please learn the History ofChristianity in its entirety so that you will not arrive at a false conclusion rajeev.
posted by Daniel

Daniel: Are you trying to tell me that there was no violence in Rome and elimination of pagans never occurred or what? From the details that I have seen over a period of 4 days in Rome and the guides I read and through my discussion all I can arrive at is there was bloodshed and the result was pagans got eliminated. Are you offering me a theory that it was all willingly .Read again and visit again with an open mind–I amk astonished how you missed that if you ever went to Rome.

So you are saying in Australia it was non-catholic Christians who killed Aborig? and then said Oops and same about Incas–kill and Oops!

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I’m sorry that I am late. I saw this blog just today.
It is my opinion that, with a couple of exceptions, all comments were uninformed or misinformed because no one has actually STUDIED the New Community Bible [NCB], or their arguments have strayed from the focus of Tom’s article which was the NCB.
With a team of priests [including learned theologians] and lay people, I have led a campaign to get the New Community Bible withdrawn because it certainly not an ‘inculturated’ version as many might think, and because the commentaries contain theological and other errors.
We have no problem with Hinduism or other faiths, but we do have serious concern if Catholicism is Hinduised which is what is happening in India. The Kanchi Shankaracharya shares our concern.
However, contrary to popular belief, the NCB does not have either conversion or proselytization in mind. But who among my Hindu friends is ready to believe that? In fact, what the NCB endeavours to say is that all religions are equally good. Which is what we are also objecting to.
Tom, copies of the NCB are not only sold out. They have been withdrawn from the shelves in many cities after our protests which were widely reported in the national and international media.
Presently Rome [I am in touch with officials there] is studying the reports — and copies of the NCB — that we have submitted to them.
They have to be read from a Catholic-faith perspective or they will not be understood. Four of them are hosted at our website home page: http://www.ephesians-511.net. Five more are being hosted this week. Another two will follow.
Just this week the Kanchi Shankaracharya has called for the banning of the NCB: http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtop ic.php?t=2535 [point no. 11].
Thanks and regards, Michael Prabhu, Chennai, India

MICHAEL PRABHU:
Ignoring your sweeping judgement on the posts, here are my comments/Qns.

@It is my opinion that, with a couple of exceptions, all comments were uninformed or misinformed because no one has actually STUDIED the New Community Bible [NCB], or their arguments have strayed from the focus of Tom’s article which was the NCB.
-I bet Tom did not expect that the posters are well versed with the New bible.

@With a team of priests [including learned theologians] and lay people, I have led a campaign to get the New Community Bible withdrawn because it certainly not an ‘inculturated’ version as many might think, and because the commentaries contain theological and other errors.
–But why was it released in first place? Being withdrawn because of opposition to the “theological errors” or the opposition?

@We have no problem with Hinduism or other faiths, but we do have serious concern if Catholicism is Hinduised which is what is happening in India. The Kanchi Shankaracharya shares our concern.
–Do you see a danger of Catholicism being Hinduised by the release of new bible or other means by the church. I wholeheatedly share your concern.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive