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Is this justified? Your views......

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Engyo, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    From TricycleBlog:
    http://tricycleblog.blogspot.com/2004/08/christian-attacks-on-buddhism-in-north.html

    Wednesday, August 25, 2004

    Christian Attacks on Buddhism, in North America and Asia

    Monday’s blog entry examined the conversion controversy in Sri Lanka, where Buddhist monk MPs are working to make it illegal for Christians to spread their message. While legislating against religious freedom is an extreme response to missionary work, the siege mentality exhibited by some Buddhists does have an easily understood source. There are indeed Christian organizations dedicated to eradicating Buddhism, in Asia and in North America.

    One of the more unusual is a sort of stealth mission that cloaks itself in the mantle of legitimate Buddhist studies. The Sonrise Center for Buddhist Studies (that’s son-rise, as in the resurrection of Jesus, not sunrise) bills itself as a clearing house for information on Buddhism, catering especially to the Christian community. Founder James Stephens is a former Buddhist himself, having left the Nichiren Shoshu sect for evangelical Protestantism. Now he perceives a dire threat in the rise of Buddhism in America. His favorite target is the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, apparently because of their high profile. In an interesting move, Stephens dubs the Dalai Lama the “pluralist pope,” linking the Tibetan leader to the most time-honored of Protestant whipping boys. Attacking the pope is an old favorite, but the assault on pluralism is perhaps the more intriguing of the charges: Stephens seems to sense a menace in the idea that religions can co-exist in harmony, which undercuts the evangelistic mission of his work.

    Perhaps it isn’t surprising that Stephens was involved in Nichiren Shoshu during the period when it too was a highly evangelistic and exclusionary organization, peddling “True Buddhism” on street corners and in city parks; he simply left one fundamentalism for another. Now Stephens and his followers seem to believe they’re living out a script from the Exorcist movies—witness their attempts to disrupt the Dalai Lama’s visit and the creation and dissolution of a sand mandala in Washington D.C. in 2000. Members of the prayer team felt they were locked in a spiritual battle against invisible enemies and that pouring the sand into the Potomac River would release demons into the environment. Similar sentiments inform House of the King, a ministry set up specifically to do prayer combat during the Dalai Lama’s visit to Toronto in April.

    There's an irony to all this frothing over the emergence of Buddhism in North America. As Christian Smith, the pre-eminent sociologist of American evangelicalism, has noted, "The evangelical movement, we have claimed, flourishes on difference, engagement, tension, conflict, and threat. Its strength, therefore, should be understood as the result of the combination of its socially-constructed cultural distinction vis-a-vis and vigorous socio-cultural engagement with pluralistic modernity." In plain English, Smith is saying that evangelicalism is strengthened by pluralism, because it gives evangelicalism something to react against--an opponent against which to rally the troops--and it is in the bonding experience of being threatened that evangelicalism finds much of its emotional appeal. And at the same time, pluralism provides the necessary freedom within which to create evangelical subcultures that define themselves in opposition to "devil-worshipping" others. In a certain way, his holiness the pluralist pope is the evangelical's best friend.

    Meanwhile, Asian Buddhists have to contend with concerted efforts to convert them to Christianity. One of the more aggressive ministries is One Billion Wait, a program run by the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (descendant of the famous China Inland Mission). While One Billion Wait is a little fuzzy on the facts (one billion Buddhists is more than twice the most generous usual assessments of the religion’s adherents), they are clear-sighted in their goals, with 21 different Asian Buddhist ethnic groups targeted for missionization. Mormon missionary work in Cambodia prompted the government to ban door-to-door proselytizing, in a move reminiscent of Sri Lanka’s crackdown on Christianity. More alarming are reports of current violence against Buddhists in northeast India published in Monday’s Assam Tribune. And in a four-part series at Buddhapia, scholar Frank Tedesco chronicles some of the attacks on Buddhism by Korean Christians. One minister from a BBC report cited by Tedesco sums up the attitude that ensures Christian-Buddhist conflict will remain a source of tension, in Asia and elsewhere: “If I acted on what I believed I, too, could have vandalized temples. When I consider those who commit such acts I think to myself that they have a much stronger faith than me.”
     
  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    The majority of Christians don't look for enemies, but through out Christian history there has always been a minority of Christians that have looked for enemies, that have thrived on finding conflicts between themselves and others. These people attacking Buddhism seem to be of that stripe.
     
  3. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

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    "Monday’s blog entry examined the conversion controversy in Sri Lanka, where Buddhist monk MPs are working to make it illegal for Christians to spread their message. While legislating against religious freedom is an extreme response to missionary work, the siege mentality exhibited by some Buddhists does have an easily understood source. There are indeed Christian organizations dedicated to eradicating Buddhism, in Asia and in North America."

    the sri lankan governement also will not recognize the Tamil (mostly hindus) peoples rights so they formed the tamil tigers LTTE (liberation of tamil tiger Eelam).

    and there are alos voilence against christians in india. which people have to realize are not from government (like the chinese) but rather dumb teenagers and extremists. and this also happens from muslim to hindu, hindu to muslim, muslim/hindu to sikh/jain. and on and on. this type of vilence exists in mostly all countries except for the US.
     
  4. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

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    and no. its not justified. if chrisitans dont want to attacked, they have to realize the problem has nothing to do with religion, but labels and stereotypes. by attacking buddhists, you wont do anything except make people think you are ignorant and closminded. many people who perscute christians think that they are different. but remember, many early christians persecuted pagans. is it hereditary karma? i dont know...
     
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Those Christians who attack other faiths are sinful. It is contrary to the nature of the Christian faith to be an aggressor like these Protestants were in this case.

    I will pray for Buddhists in North America and Asia.

    Peace,
    Scott
     
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