Day 040 – Underreported religious war in Indian

2008/10/13 § Leave a comment


Being forced to watch Indian television for some days is not as bad as it may sound. Well, mostly it actually is bad, but on the positive side there are several insights into Indian politics, social development, and maybe a humble glimpse of the Indian soul.

What struck me as completely neglected in western media is the suppression of the Christian religion in some parts of India by their Hindu neighbors [1]. Yet again I am startled in how many regions of the world religion is a problem for social peace. A current study claimed to have found more evidence for the hypothesis that religion developed due to a higher survival rate of communities who developed religious ideas. Because, so they argued, these societies would be more cooperative.

While this idea makes quite a bit of sense to me, the downside of such a development would then obviously be, that people with different religions do not feel this spirit of cooperation for each other. And that is what we, sadly enough, see all over the world. Anyone who sees religion as a predominantly positive force must be dreaming.

In the west we seem to stop to have done that, while in the majority of parts of the planet religion still plays a major role. In one of these documentaries about the current threat to Christians (and do not forget that we are too aware of the trouble Muslims have and cause with Christians and Hindus and basically anybody else in India too) some individuals reported that they will convert to Hinduism now, because they feel it is necessary for communal peace. They emphasized how they are not feeling forced by anyone, however, it is hardly a rational choice only these individuals took. Peer pressure and fear likely play a part to some degree.

Whatever the natural force for religion to develop may have been, ultimately it seems to be in the way of peace, on a planet that appears to be shrinking due to its increasing degree of interconnectedness.

Interestingly, yesterday the Catholic Church announced the first female saint coming from India [2]. While some Christians celebrate and believe it to be a good thing for the Indian Christians, one commentator nailed it best: this, or any other kind of superstition has no place on the 21st century.
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LINKS (the content on the pages linked to does not reflect my opinion on the topic):
[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7591217.stm
[2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7666158.stm

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