- God in Captivity: The Rise of Faith-Based Prison Ministries in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Tanya Erzen, Beacon Press, March 2017. ISBN-10: 0807089982
- Hundreds of Homes of Indigenous Buddhists Burned Down by Bengali Settlers…………in BANGLADESH
- Christian Conversion Project: Conversion Facts
- Christian Evangelist Comperes at Global Buddhist Event!
- Buddhist Fundamentalism?
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God in Captivity: The Rise of Faith-Based Prison Ministries in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Tanya Erzen, Beacon Press, March 2017. ISBN-10: 0807089982
• US $145 Billion are spent annually for missionary activities.
• Every year, churches around the world perform US $1.1 billion worth of research in 3,000 languages,covering 180 religious topics for conversion purposes.
• Missionary literature in today’s libraries number 175,000 different titles in 500 languages,increasing by 4 newly published every day.
• The total cost of Christian conversions averages $330,000 for each and every convert.
• From only 3 million in year 1500, Christians involved in missionary activities has grown to 648 million worldwide, 54% being Non-Whites (Showing the focus of training of indigenous missionaries).
• There are only 818 ethno linguistic peoples or tribal groups which have never been targeted by any Christian agency.
• It costs Christians 700 times more money to convert someone in rich developed countries such as Switzerland than in
poor developing countries such as India. (That is why India is being heavily targeted).
• Each day 10,000 Chinese are converted to Christianity due to missionary tactics.
• Each year 3.5% of Africans (6 Million) convert to Christianity.
• The top three poorest countries in the world by per capita GDP are all 40-70% Christian (Notice how Missionaries target the poorest populations).
• In 1972, there were 26 indigenous missionary agencies in India, as of 1997 there are more than 200.
• In India, it is estimated that 5,000 people are converted to Christianity everyday. That’s one person every 17.28 seconds!
Concerned Buddhists are raising the question as to why a Christian fundamentalist, Arun Dias Bandaranaike (Jehovah’s Witness) was invited to compere at the most important international Buddhist event on May 12? Could not the organizers find a Buddhist to be the English language compere at this ceremony? Which other predominantly Buddhist nation would do so? Will Muslims invite a non-Muslim to compere an Islamic event? Will Catholics invite a Jehovah’s Witness to be the compere at a religious event of theirs – let alone a Buddhist or a Hindu?
Surely did not the organizers have enough intelligence to realize that this was NOT a non-religious event where the compere’s religion does not matter?
The activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses have already been suspended in Russia, an Orthodox Christian country, over allegations of extremism. (I recall former Russian Presidential Candidate General Alexander Lebed saying in the 1990s that his country has four main religions – Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism – and therefore did not need any more)
The dolts who organized the international ceremony at the BMICH were blind to the fact that it was essentially a Buddhist religious and cultural event – NOT a multicultural one. This is the second attempt to multiculturalize a Buddhist event. The first attempt was made during the 2600th Sambudhhatva Jayanthi in 2012 but did not succeed because of strong protests by concerned Buddhists.
Arun Dias may be a good presenter but that was not reflected at this event for reasons best known to the presenter.
He hardly had any praise for Buddhism or the Buddha in comparison to the Buddhist lady compere in Sinhala. Instead he adopted the multicultural line of speaking about inclusiveness, which was not relevant to the occasion. The content of his presentation differed qualitatively from the warm glowing presentation made in Sinhala by the other compere a lady who is a Buddhist.
His body language as a compere at the inaugural session of the UN Day of Vesak 2017 did not reflect great warmth towards the subject of Buddhism. There was no enthusiasm in his choice of words. This is to be expected given his close ties to an aggressive evangelical organisation.
Listen to the presentations by the two comperes and note the difference.
Extractd from the article of the same title by Janaka Perera, LankaWeb May 13th, 2017,http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2017/05/13/christian-evangelist-comperes-at-global-buddhist-event/
There are innumerable accounts in the international media and academia on aggression against religious minorities, especially the Muslims, in the Buddhist majority countries in South and Southeast Asia. They report incitement of violence by ‘militant’ Buddhist monks of the the MaBaTha and the 969 Movement against the Rohingyas in Burma, Thai monks against Muslims in Southern Thailand and theBodu Bala Sena against Muslims in Sri Lanka. Human rights groups are calling for international responses to Buddhist ‘fundamentalism’, ‘ethnic violence’, and ‘neo-Nazi’ religious nationalism. Western and international Buddhist leaders are urging Buddhists in Theravada Buddhist countries, especially Burma, where there is widespread violence and displacement of Rohingya Muslims, to uphold social pluralism and Buddhist principles of non-violence, mutual respect and compassion.
Indeed, aggression and violence of any individual or group towards another must be condemned and stopped. However, one-sided, dualistic depictions of majority aggression and minority victimization further polarization and conflict rather than peace and harmony. The vast majority of monks and lay people in the Buddhist majority countries abhor violence and have lived in mutual harmony and with respect towards other ethnic and religious communities for centuries. A deeper perspective on the religious conflicts in Asian Buddhist countries calls for a balanced investigation of the historical challenges Buddhists have faced and continue to face in maintaining their religious identity and culture.
Buddhism which had its origin in 5 BC in India disappeared from the country of its origin due to internal dissension, revival of Brahmanism and Islamic invasions. The destruction of the great Buddhist University at Nalanda by Muslim invaders in 12 AD signified the demise of Buddhism in India. Other Buddhist societies like the Maldives and Indonesia also experienced decimation of their Buddhist cultures due to Islamic conquest. The process of violent Islamization continues to date as in theChittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh where the Buddhist tribal communities are facing religious persecution and cultural destruction. The destruction of the Bamian Buddha statutes in Afghanistan in 2001 received international condemnation but the bombings in Bodh Gaya at the seat of the Buddha’s enlightenment in July 2013 by Muslim extremists allegedly revenging for the violence against the Rohingyas in Burma, received scarce attention.
As Buddhism began to be wiped out of India the challenge of safeguarding the Buddha’s teaching and Buddhist culture was taken up by the neighboring countries. Support from the state and the monarchy was crucial for the peaceful acceptance, spread and survival of Buddhism in these lands. Buddhist monks made great sacrifices to preserve the Buddha’s teachings for posterity and safeguard Buddhist cultures against internal and external forces of destruction. The Tripitaka, the Pali Canon, was first written down by Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka in 1 BC. The vinayamonastic disciplinary code, vipassana insight meditation and other aspects of Buddhist teaching were passed down with difficulty from teacher to teacher in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand and other Asian countries. These sacrifices have made the Buddha’s universal teachings readily available to the international community today.
The arrival of European colonizers since the 15th century halted the Islamization of India and the Buddhist countries of Asia. However, during British colonial rule and Christian proselytization, Buddhist monastic education and Buddhist culture lost their traditional state patronage in Sri Lanka and Burma (Thailand escaped western colonization). With the arrival of Hindu and Muslim immigrant groups from India into Burma and Sri Lanka during the colonial period, Buddhist communities became further marginalized economically and politically. Many monks, like many lay people who participated in nationalist resistance and struggles for democracy including the recent ‘Saffron Revolution’ in 2007 against the military regime in Burma, lost their lives in the process. These divergent developments laid the basis for the emergence of current grievances and ethno-religious conflicts.
Buddhist societies today feel threatened by a confluence of political, economic and cultural forces beyond their control. Globalization and the capitalist consumerist culture which amount to a form of ‘economic fundamentalism’ drive people away from the simple, ecological and harmonious way of life associated with the Buddha’s teaching. Evangelical Christian proselytization, relying on economic incentives to convert poor Buddhist, Hindu and animist groups create tension and aggravate inter-group relations. So do alleged efforts by Islamic groups to establish Muslim settlements within Buddhist and other religious communities. The absence of international financial networks of aid and mutual support, such as, those of Christian evangelicals and the Wahabi Muslims make many Buddhists feel relatively powerless in their own countries despite their numerical majority. The higher fertility and population growth rates among Muslims exacerbate fears of Buddhists (as well as Hindus in India and Christians in the west) over their numerical majority status and the cultural identity of their countries. There is a growing feeling that compared to the more authoritarian Islamic countries which are closed to outside cultural influences, the relative openness of Buddhist societies make their cultural survival precarious. There is concern that the Buddhist identity in South and South East Asia may finally be wiped out by the internationally powerful universalizing religions of Islam and Christianity. While aggression or violence of Buddhists or others should never be condoned, the rise of current conflicts need to be understood in relation to these broader realities.
The constitutions of Burma, Sri Lanka and Burma give special place to Buddhism as the religion of the great majority of their country’s citizens while simultaneously upholding religious freedom and the rights of other religions. However, given increasing fears over the continued majority status of Buddhism, the Burmese government has recently passed several controversial laws restricting religious conversions, marriage between Buddhist women and non-Buddhist men and criminalizing extra-marital affairs. Thailand’s 2007 constitution which provides for freedom of speech prohibits speech likely to insult Buddhism. In Sri Lanka, Buddhist groups are battling internationally backed efforts promoting pluralism and secularism to change the foremost place given to Buddhism in the country’sconstitution.
The seemingly local and religious conflicts in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand are far more complex than suggested by simplistic assertions of primordial hatred and majority-versus-minority violence. The so-called Buddhist-Muslim conflicts in Southeast Asia are enmeshed in the broader geopolitical struggle over control of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. As Asian analysts point out, in order to curb the growing influence of China in these regions and across Asia, the United States may well be employing the divide and conquer strategy playing local ethno-religious groups, such as, the Buddhists and Muslims, against each other.
To find lasting solutions, these conflicts need to be viewed in a broader global as well as a humanist perspective rather than as isolated ‘Buddhist’ violence or extremism. There is a great contradiction in expecting Buddhist countries to uphold‘Western Buddhist visions of a pluralistic society’ while the western countries themselves are exhibiting tremendous fear and antipathy towards immigrant Islamic populations as well as ethno-religious violence, fundamentalism, neo-Nazi tendencies and militarism towards Islamic countries. There is a double standard in the promotion of secular constitutions in Buddhist countries while the Islamic countries and some western Christian countries advocating secularism and pluralism themselves uphold the religions of their majority populations as their state religions. International human rights NGOs, western Buddhist leaders and others calling for pluralism, peace and compassion in Theravada Buddhist countries must also call on the governments, corporations and community leaders of western and Islamic countries to uphold the same. Ethno-religious pluralism, non-violence and compassion are not uniquely Buddhist and should not be required only of Buddhist majority countries. They are universal principles and must be respected by all of humanity.
Asoka Bandarage Courtesy The HuffingtonPost.com
Asoka Bandarage, Ph.D. is the author of Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy (Palgrave MacMillan) and many other publications. www.bandarage.com
Reciprocity and not Reconciliation should be the Basis of Peaceful Co-existence between Buddhists and Muslims
Reciprocity is the hallmark of any relationship. However, we have hardly any evidence to prove Islamic reciprocity towards non-Islamic faiths. It has been announced that an international conference is to be held in Sri Lanka in August 2016 sponsored by Islamic nations and Islamic religious organisations to foster peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Buddhists. No peaceful co-existence can come about if incursions are taking place affecting the sensitivities of the majority populace of a country. The magnanimity of wanting peaceful coexistence comes in removing that which are stumbling blocks to peace.
We welcome peace and peaceful co-existence between adherents of different religions. However, we must state that co-existence cannot be one-sided. While preaching peaceful co-existence Muslims and Islamic nations cannot expect to transplant their religions in sacred citadels of Buddhists and expect the Buddhists to keep silent. The oath of peaceful coexistence is and cannot be one-sided and is certainly no one way street for one party only.
We can give as examples with sadness of the incursions taking place with mosques being built close to hallowed Buddhist shrines in specifically Buddhist citadels – Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Kandy, Mihintale, Mahiyangana, Polonnaruwa (former Royal capital), Kelaniya and even in Buddhagaya, Lumbini and Kusinara. There is a new mosque built 60 metres away from the Maha Bodhi Temple premises in Buddhagaya where the Bodhisatwa (Prince Siddhartha) attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree to become the Buddha, 2600 years ago. To decide to build a mosque so close to the most important site of the Buddhists and then use loudspeakers for the daily Azaan knowing very well that these high pitched loud screeching sounds would disturb the tranquility and peaceful environment conducive to meditation of the Buddhist monks and worshippers, must be considered as a direct affront to peace. The failure of the Govt. of India to take steps to remove or re – locate this Mosque or take steps to withdraw the permit given to use loudspeakers is tantamount to a dereliction of duty. It undermines the loud boast of the Indian Govt. to protect Buddhism in its birthplace i.e. Buddha Gaya. The silence of the International Buddhist organizations such as the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) on this critical issue is deafening.
The other contenders for leadership of the Buddhist world such as China or even Nepal (where the birthplace of Prince Siddhartha is located i.e. Lumbini, now being increasingly projected as the Fountainhead of Buddhism) would never allow a Mosque to interfere with the proceedings of a hallowed Buddhist shrine. It is also a lesson for Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka to ensure that Mosques are not allowed to be constructed anywhere near an important Buddhist Temple because once permission is given it would be near impossible to prevent the Trustees of the Mosque from using loudspeakers out of spite and lack of sensitivity to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of a Buddhist Temple. If it can happen in Buddha Gaya it can happen anywhere else including disturbing the proceedings of the Dalada Maligava in Kandy.
The situation boils down to a simple axiom. You can demand only up to what you can and are prepared to concede to the other party. Nothing more. Each and every Muslim in Sri Lanka and the rest of the Islamic world must ask this basic straight forward question.
Islam is recognised officially as a religion in Sri Lanka. Three days in the Calendar year have been declared as public holidays for the benefit of Muslims. Mosques are being allowed to be built at any place in this country purely on the basis of a simple request irrespective of whether there is a sizeable Muslim population to justify the construction of a Mosque. In Kattankudy there are 48 Mosques over and above the needs of a small Muslim community in that small town. Muslim-Muslim rifts have resulted in varying types of mosques emerging. Muslim religious and public figures are regularly honoured via commemorative postage stamps. Can the Muslim world name a single Muslim majority country that has given Buddhists the same accord of reciprocity? Our people cannot even take a Buddha statue, a portrait or postcard of the Buddha or pray in public or even build a temple and in the Holiest place for Muslims i.e. Mecca, non-Muslims cannot even put a foot inside. When was the last time a new Buddhist Temple was allowed to be constructed in a Muslim majority country? Where is the reciprocity?
Sri Lanka is historically a Buddhist country. A land whose identity was closely tied to Buddhism. The cultural landscape was essentially Buddhist. This is fast changing with a planned effort by Abrahamic religions and their followers backed by foreign NGOs and Christian and Muslim countries to remove the Buddhist identity of Sri Lanka.
Ideas that have no cultural roots in Sri Lanka such as Secularism, Pluralism, Multi – culturalism and the like are bandied about with only one sinister aim – to remove Buddhism from public life. All types of efforts are being funded from all corners to realize this evil political objective.
The Theravada Buddhist countries are all facing similar threats. Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and even a predominantly Hindu country such as Nepal which has Lumbini (birthplace of Prince Siddhartha – the Buddha to be).
An email thread asking “What if Thailand turns into a Christian majority nation” has some interesting responses
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=19628&start=40 and there are success stories. South Korea once a majority Buddhist nation is today under evangelical influence. Maldives expunged its early Buddhist history and is now an Islamic Sharia following country. There are lakhs of Maldivians living, studying and working in Sri Lanka though a Sinhala Buddhist cannot even carry a photo of the Buddha as it gets confiscated and destroyed at the airport check-in counter in the Maldives.
Instead of protesting at the contempt shown to Buddhism and our countrymen, the Govt. of Sri Lanka rests content looking the other side.
We place these demands as a solution to the crisis facing the remaining Buddhist communities and the Buddhist world
1. All Muslim majority nations must endorse and publicly acknowledge and legally accept Buddhism as a global religion. In Europe only two countries Russia and Austria have officially recognised Buddhism as a religion. The rest of Europe and the vast majority of the Islamic world deny as a matter of public policy basic recognition to Buddhism while availing themselves of all the best facilities that Buddhist countries afford to both Christianity and Islam. The contrast in public policy and reciprocity between countries following Abhramic religions and the Eastern Dharmic religions in this respect, is indeed striking.
2. All Muslim majority nations must grant equal status legally and constitutionally to Buddhist places of worship and allow migrant Buddhist communities in the West Asian countries (Middle East) to freely practice Buddhism and construct Buddhist places of worship.
3. All Muslim nations must be sensitive to Buddhist concerns. If the whole of Arabia is regarded as the sacred territory of Islam, Buddhist sacred sites must be equally accepted as no-go areas for mosque construction in any form. All such constructions that have occurred of late must be removed forthwith or re- located including the mosque placed in close proximity (within 60 metres) of the Maha Bodhi Temple in Buddhagaya, India (where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became the Buddha). The Buddhist Commission Report of 1956 emphatically stressed that no place of worship of a non – Buddhist religion be allowed to be constructed in Sri Lanka. This recommendation is now being honoured in the breach.
4. Muslims must respect the judgment of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka i.e. an interim order delivered in November, 2007 which upheld the grievance of a petitioner that Azan makes ‘Captive listeners of people of other religious faiths and violates the fundamental rights of the general public, such as the right to silence and the right to quiet enjoyment of property’. The Supreme Court adopted the position that a public nuisance cannot be excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage to a few, and directed ‘ that all permits issued by the Police under Section 80(1) of the Police Ordinance (for use of loudspeakers) shall cease to be effective forthwith’. For more details of this highly acclaimed judgment of the Supreme Court to restrict noise pollution in Sri Lanka, see http://www.island.lk/2007/11/10/news9.html Everyone has watches to know the timings to call for prayer. Using loudspeakers to call for prayer in highly congested urban areas is a totally out of date practice that is causing tension and generating huge amount of anger and hatred towards Muslim communities also in India. Azaan is increasing the communal gap. http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4018
5. Muslims should not be allowed to use and exploit all the laws and freedoms in nations adopting multiculturalism while denying these same basic freedoms of religious worship to non-Islamic people in Muslim majority nations.
6. Muslim minorities cannot demand eating and drinking habits to be in accordance with their faith when in Muslim majority nations there are no such rights whatsoever afforded to non-Muslims.
7. In Buddhist countries Buddhist values such as non – violence towards all living beings including animals, must be allowed to prevail over the values that cause destruction to innocent lives of harmless animals e.g. animal sacrifice, which the Buddha has condemned without qualification and considered as an hideous and foul practice by Buddhists and other right thinking people all over the world.
A point of view advanced by some Muslims that what is ours is ours and what is not ours is a battleground, is untenable and a recipe for conflict now and in the future between Muslims and non-Muslims.
At another level the minorities in Sri Lanka seem to think that by holding ‘multicultural’ ‘pluralistic’ ‘secular’ ‘peaceful co-existence’ placards they can silence the Sinhala Buddhist majority who they expect to silently watch as every area of Sinhala Buddhist ethos, sacred areas, sacred sites, history, artifacts, rituals are all dislodged and replaced with either Christian or Islamic beliefs and monuments and thereafter expect the Sinhalese to accept defeat and give up Sinhala cultures/traditions and Buddhism and embrace either Islam or Christianity/Catholicism or Evangelicalism. How morally correct is such conduct on the part of extremists in Minority communities?
Even the Muslim Congress leader and current Minister for Water Supply and Drainage is seeking a separate Muslim province in an area that was assigned to the Muslim community by a benevolent Buddhist King i.e. King Senerath in 1626, for the safety of the Muslims who were desperate to escape from a Portuguese Inquisition and Genocide under the command of a Portuguese captain-general named Constantino de Sá de Noronha.
King Senerath never intended the Eastern Province or part of it to be administered as a separate District by the Muslims. That would be the height of ingratitude. http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=2016/03/17/local/76777
Therefore it is essential that Muslims must be conscious of the existential fears of the Buddhist world given that one thousand years ago a good number of countries that are pre-dominantly Muslim now were Buddhist such as Maldives, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Only a genuine and sincere effort to understand the Buddhist fears and reservations, and in adjusting Muslim conduct to allay such fears can the process of peaceful co-existence between Buddhists and Muslims be taken forward.
Shenali D. Waduge
The seemingly routine appointment of the new chairman to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom needs to be explained in the context of the situation to understand why it’s anything but routine.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a government funded agency, defines itself as a group dedicated to defend the universal right to freedom of religion or belief ‘abroad’.
The agency came into existence on 27 January 1998, following the passing of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). It makes foreign officials responsible for ‘severe violations of religious freedom’ ineligible for US visas.
This American entity is not unknown to Indians. Under the garb of religious freedom, they have tried to intervene in the internal affairs of the Indian state. At times, they have even adversely influenced US foreign policy towards India.
The IRFA was the main reason why Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then Gujarat chief minister, was denied a visa to the U.S. in 2005. The USCIRF held Modi responsible for the 2002 Gujarat carnage.
It would also be important to remember USCIRF’s 2015 report, which identified India as a country where intolerance was rising and added to the ‘rising intolerance’ debate in the country. Some important excerpts from the report are:
Despite the country’s status as a pluralistic and secular democracy, India has long struggled to protect minority religious communities or provide justice when crimes occur, which perpetuates a climate of impunity.
Indian Christians, Christian missionary groups and Hindus, who converted to Christianity or another faith have reported more frequent harassment and violence, particularly in states with anti-conversion laws.
The aforementioned observations are clearly one-sided. The burning down of a Delhi church, which captured headlines last year, was found to be caused by a short circuit during lighting of a Christmas tree. The breaking of a window pane by a stone in another church was due to a group of children playing outside. In another case in Vikaspuri, in which a small group of men damaged a church, was revealed to be a drunken dare. The goons were caught on camera and were arrested shortly thereafter by the police.
The 2015 report did not take these findings into consideration, which clearly displays their bias. Surely there were insensitive remarks made by certain figures which could have offended the Christians, but with evangelists like Pat Robertson (a backer of USCIRF)- who constantly castigate other religions and have even termed traditions like ‘yoga’ as being demonic- the United Sates should first castigate them before advising India.
One of the recommendations of the report is worth mentioning:
Urge the central Indian government to press states that have adopted anti-conversion laws to repeal or amend them to conform with internationally-recognised human rights standards; make clear the US opposition to laws that restrict freedom of thought and association.
In the same report the programme of ghar wapsi, where Christians and Muslims were converted to Hinduism, is being criticised. Another display of bias.
Interestingly, it was during that same time the U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on that specific issue, claiming Mahatma Gandhi would have been shocked at the acts of intolerance in a country famed for its diversity.
USCIRF’s focus, unfortunately, doesn’t include other religious communities affected by religious intolerance such as the displaced Hindu pandits from Kashmir.
The Appointment Of Thomas Reese
The Catholic News Agency, on 23 June 2016, announced the appointment of a Jesuit priest father Thomas Reese as chairman of the USCIRF.
Who Are Jesuits?
According to Wikipedia, ‘the Society of Jesus is a male religious congregation of the Catholic church. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelisation and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents.’
The so-called ‘independent, bipartisan USCIRF’ now has a chairman who believes in the ‘superiority’ of his own Christian faith and belongs to an order which is committed to converting people of other faiths to their own.
The Indian ‘Leftist-intelligentsia’ have been quoting the USCIRF report. This is being done to sully India’s reputation as a tolerant and inclusive society – in spite of so many faiths and races living together as one community, for centuries.
The media, at times, has portrayed the USCIRF as a neutral, bi-partisan commission and had taken its report as an important benchmark for the socio-religious scenario in India.
The new chairman of the USCIRF would in all probability be partisan to his own cause. The way in which this appointment is going to adversely affect the India-US relationship, remains to be seen.
Source: Swarajya July 5, 2016. http://swarajyamag.com/world/appointment-of-new-chairman-to-the-united-states-commission-on-international-religious-freedom
Russia passed the “Yarovaya laws” on July 7, 2016 making it illegal to preach, proselytize or hand out religious materials outside specially designated places.
The new laws require a government permit to engage in proselytizing activities, and it bans those activities outside any registered religious organization, such as a church. Russia has numerous “house churches” — groups that meet in people’s homes, This and unethical activities such as going from house to house to preach and handing out tracts will now be illegal under the new law.
Religious organizations directly affected by the new laws are those with strong evangelization programmes in Russia — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists and other Protestant organizations with Baptist, Pentecostal and independent Christian roots. Some of these are not planning to leave the country.
Only about 1 percent of the Russian population is Protestant; the majority religion is Russian Orthodox Christian.
Source: Churches to Russia: We are not leaving. RNS, 12th July 2016. http://religionnews.com/2016/07/11/u-s-churches-to-russia-were-not-leaving/
A gay nightclub became the latest attack in Orlando, USA resulting in the deaths of 50 people and injuring scores of others. President Obama called it ‘an act of terror and an act of hate’. The gunman was a Muslim and ISIL has claimed responsibility. Not many seem to question the roots of Islamic terrorism and instead have opted to attack mosques and Muslims. The scale of these attacks and the silence by the Christian West can be compared to the manner they reacted in Sri Lanka’s case related to Dambulla and Aluthgama where even the UNHRC head quoted these and chagrined only the Sinhala Buddhists which is hardly comparable to the types of attacks taking place in Christian countries. Are people aware the scale of anti-Islamic sentiments in US, EU, UK and elsewhere? At what other place of worship would this be tolerated? If people with assault rifles stood outside of a Christian church or Jewish synagogue, Americans would explode in fury. Those with the assault rifles might be arrested for threatening worshipers; they might even be shot. When it is Muslims that are threatened, dare I say terrorized, by heavily armed Islamophobes, on the other hand, suddenly the problem is framed as a First Amendment issue.” Says Ben Norton
If Islamic jihadists are in receipt of training and support of Western states these ‘Islamic’ attacks become a real farce and it questions the unfairness of these Western governments that allow innocent Muslims to be attacked. Hundreds of mosques and Muslims have been attacked but there is no international body that comes out to point fingers against the perpetrators because the perpetrators are in the driving seat of virtually all decision making across the world. Russia and China are the only others to comment. That is one end of the argument.
The other factor is that Muslims themselves have to accept that they too have to account for much. In non-Muslim majority countries they are imposing their will using the strength of the money that comes from oil-rich nations ready to fork out any amounts to promote Wahhabi faith. It is from these oil-rich countries that the West is plucking out men to turn into terrorists. Muslims cannot object to the allegation that they are intruding into sacred places of others and thereafter demanding their will prevails. This is certainly does not showcase as a gesture of peace or goodwill and Sri Lanka can present many examples of how Muslim-will had been covertly attempted to prevail in Sri Lanka – halal, Muslim new dress code, Muslim-only areas, mosques galore most of which are empty, mosques in sacred Buddhist cities and thereafter use of loudspeakers for mosque calling becoming a disturbance but turned into a racial-religious victim factor…all these examples showcase an ulterior objective on the part of the Muslims also.
Attacks against Muslims in US
§ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7s1Js_9cgI Muslim Mosques In America Are Being Burned
§ an average of 12.6 suspected hate crimes against Muslims in the United States a month, based on F.B.I. data
§ two mosques in Hawthorne, California vandalized with ‘Jesus is the way’ scrolled on the walls – Anti-Muslim attacks occurring in record numbers across US https://www.rt.com/usa/325922-hate-crimes-muslims-mosques/
§ In Pittsburgh, a passenger in a cab shot the driver, who was Muslim, in the back after the passenger angrily asked him about ISIS and mocked the Prophet Muhammad
§ Anaheim, Calif., a bullet-riddled copy of the Quran was left outside an Islamic clothing store
§ a man reportedly pulled a knife on a Muslim woman at a carwash and threatened her. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/us/politics/crimes-against-muslim-americans-and-mosques-rise-sharply.html?_r=0
§ 53 incidents against Muslims reported in 2010 when Muslims attempted to build a mosque near the site of 9/11
§ a man in Pittsburgh shot a taxi driver in his own cab with a rifle for being Muslim.
§ A mosque was vandalized in Phoenix
§ In a Brooklyn restaurant, a customer shouted “Muslim motherfu**er!” and assaulted a Muslim woman
§ Two Muslim women were attacked in Tampa. One was shot at as she drove away from a mosque. The other was nearly driven off the road.
§ A Muslim judge in Brooklyn judge was sworn in on the Koran, and she received numerous threats. Anonymous callers said “You are not an American” and “You are a terrorist,” warning “We know where to find you” and “Watch out because we are going to get you.” This is a judge they are threatening. http://www.salon.com/2015/12/17/a_shame_on_america_hate_attacks_on_u_s_muslims_are_spiking_and_wheres_the_outrage/
§ Attack on mosques skyrocketCouncil on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR identified 63 individual incidents of attacks on mosques in the U.S. so far in 2015. http://reverbpress.com/news/us/attacks-on-mosques-skyrocket-us/
Attacks against Muslims in UK & Europe & Australia
§ Attacks on British Muslims have gone up 300% since Paris http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/attacks-on-british-muslims-have-gone-up-300-since-paris–ZyMe0b1MhFx
§ Research reveals HALF of all Britain’s mosques have been attacked since 9/11 as anti-Islam violence spreads
read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2351470/Research-reveals-HALF-Britains-mosques-attacked-9-11-anti-Islam-violence-spreads.html#ixzz4BQk3IwQC
§ Firebombs and pigs heads thrown into mosques as anti-Muslim attacks increase after Paris shootings
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/firebombs-and-pigs-heads-thrown-into-mosques-as-anti-muslim-attacks-increase-after-paris-shootings-9977423.html France’s National Observatory Against Islamophobia reports that since last Wednesday a total of 60 Islamophobic incidents have been recorded. France’s National Observatory Against Islamophobia reports that since last Wednesday a total of 60 Islamophobic incidents have been recorded
§ Political climate in Europe: ‘Worst level of anti-Muslim bigotry ever’ https://www.rt.com/op-edge/336929-brussels-muslims-hysteria-attacks/
§ Mosque ransacked and copies of Quran burned in Corsica http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/mosque-ransacked-copies-quran-burnt-corsica-151226050610696.html
§ fire destroys Geelong mosque http://www.news.com.au/national/suspicious-fire-destroys-geelong-mosque/news-story/14114024f03a1ae698f7aaad42e8f340
§ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4nn6-Z-Qw4 9 Muslim refugee centres burnt in Sweden
§ Italian mosque vandalized, quran burnt http://www.islamophobiawatch.co.uk/italian-mosque-vandalised-quran-burnt/
§ Extremists threaten to burn all mosques in Norway – http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/kenya-nairobi-westgate-siege-norway-islam-muslim-508570
The news headlines against Muslims
§ Belgian Interior Minister says there is a ‘cancer’ of extremism running through Belgian societyhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/brussels-attacks-belgian-interior-minister-jan-jambon-says-muslims-dance-in-the-street-following-a6988196.html
§ In Europe, Muslim extremists turn to Sexual Terrorism – http://thefederalist.com/2016/01/11/in-europe-muslim-extremists-turn-to-sexual-terrorism/
§ Europe’s angry Muslims – http://www.cfr.org/religion/europes-angry-muslims/p8218 Radical Islam is spreading across Europe among descendants of Muslim immigrants. Disenfranchised and disillusioned by the failure of integration, some European Muslims have taken up jihad against the West. They are dangerous and committed — and can enter the United States without a visa. (Council of Foreign Relations – a premier US think tank)
§ Europe’s Muslims hate the West http://www.politico.eu/article/brussels-attacks-terrorism-europe-muslims-brussels-attacks-airport-metro/ The first reaction to the Brussels massacres among postmodern European intellectuals was predictable: What did we, Europeans, do to them, our Muslims? How could followers of a religion that is proudly called “the religion of peace” commit these kinds of atrocities?
§ Belgian Muslims held street parties celebrating Brussels attackshttp://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/210384#.V15EO49OLcc
§ New Jersey police officers say Muslims DID celebrate 9/11 and eyewitness remembers cheers of ‘Allahu Akbar!’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3369705/Was-Trump-Police-officer-says-pockets-Muslims-celebrated-9-11-shouted-Allahu-Akbar.html
Prof. Choussodovsky writing to the Global Research states that Washington is behind the ISIS as well as moderate Al Qaeda terrorists. He says the ISIS was until 2014 known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). He also says Al Nusra is an Al Qaeda affiliate which the Obama administration supports to go after ISIS aka AQI. He says ISIS and Al Nusra are protected by Western military alliance and being used to destroy Syria and Iraq. He also says Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (supported by NATO in 2011), AL Qaeda in Islamic Maghred, the Jemaah Islamiah in Indonesia all affiliates of Al Qaeda are covertly supported by Western intelligence. US is also supporting Al Qaeda affiliates in Xianjiang Uighur autonomous region of China.
Prof. Choussodovsky says that US/NATO air bombings do not target ISIS and instead targets Syrian & Iraqi schools, hospitals, factories, residential areas, government buildings, roads, bridges etc. This means that the Western governments are using Al Qaeda and affiliates to destroy Iraq and Syria and the foot soldiers are these terrorists supplied by Western allied Muslim states. He goes on to say that the US is ‘Number One ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’.
Origins of Al Qaeda dates to Soviet-Afghan War with CIA training camps during Reagan administration set up in Pakistan that trained 35,000 jihadists from 43 Islamic countries during 1982-1992. Terrorists became known as ‘freedom fighters’.
The US even funded jihadi textbooks (published by University of Nebraska) to brainwash Afghan children. The US recruited Osama bin Laden in 1979 to lead the Al Qaeda just like Prabakaran was selected by India to lead the LTTE. 9/11 was not a job done by Al Qaeda but it was good enough reason to invade Afghanistan. ISIL – The Islamic State is also an AL Qaeda affiliate created by US intelligence and supported by British MI6 and Mossad, Pakistan’s ISI, Saudi Arabia’s GIP and these were the ‘rebels’ that supported the ouster of Syria’s Assad. Prof. Choussodovsky says NATO and Turkey recruited ISIL and Al Nusrah mercenaries for the Syrian insurgency. He says that Western Special Forces and Western Intelligence operatives are working within the ranks of ISIL (shocking). These western military specialists contracted by Pentagon have even trained terrorists in use of chemical weapons. Prof. Choussodovsky says that the ISIL’s practice of beheadings are part of the US sponsored terrorist training! The ISL mercenaries are said to be death row criminals released from Saudi prisons! Prof. Choussodovsky concludes that the Islamic terror is a project of the US foreign policy agenda to carve up Iraq & Syria into separate territories – Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic and a Republic of Kurdistan.
Prof Choussodovsky that the homegrown terrorist threat is a lie being promoted by Western governments helped by media in order to remove civil liberties and create a police state. He says terror attacks are staged and created to instil fear so that America can strengthen its law enforcement apparatus and control the minds of millions of Americans that their government is protecting them when in reality their government is creating the mayhem. He says that counter-terrorism campaigns have demonized Muslims and anybody questioning anti-terror law are slapped with anti-terror laws. He says the objective of ‘Global War on Terror’ is to subdue the citizens and prevent them from finding out or questioning the truth.
However, while this is all true, the Muslims themselves have much to account for. Using the hat of ‘victim’ they have been penetrating into non-Muslim lands and setting up mosques, prayer centres, madrassas and using the power of their money to bribe their will. The recent attempt to build a minaret above the sacred Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, Sri Lanka speaks volumes of the manner of incursions taking place while pretending to be wanting to live in peaceful co-existence. These incursive attempts on the strength of the money that is being sent through the Saudi-oil and the long term objective of spreading Wahhabi faith does not help the Muslims who on the one hand are being unfairly attacked by Christian West who have created these Islamic terrorists.
Our concern in Sri Lanka is simple. Given that these Islamic terrorists are virtually missionaries using and abusing the Islamic faith though they have been provided by Islamic nations, we too are conscience that our sacred places of worship can be ordered for attack any day. In reading Prof. Choussodovsky’s research Buddhists of Sri Lanka have every right to fear and the GOSL is bounden to address these fears.
Shenali D Waduge
“The name of Christ has caused
more persecutions, wars, and miseries
than any other name has caused.”
– John E. Remsburg
Over hundreds and thousands of years the same nations that dictate how the world today functions have been responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity that have left millions dead. They have the audacity to point fingers calling for accountability feeling no shame to admit and compensate for their crimes that continue under the same ideology but camouflaged by slogans that fit into modern thinking shaped by media and propaganda that they own and control. Money, power and politics have enabled many truths to be hidden and the efforts to increase flocks have been to cover the blood-soaked past by getting converts to absolve these white-washed crimes. That the historical killings have continued under different names can be seen by the present military interventions, invasion and occupation of lands in a replay and re-enactment of the Holy Crusades, Inquisitions, Discovery of already occupied lands and conversion drives. How many innocent people have been killed using God as an excuse? Racism, apartheid, class differences were all created as part of West’s divide and rule policies which continue unabated.
The 1st blood – the 9 Crusades – Military expeditions ordered by the Pope
The Holy Crusades initiated by Pope Urban II on 27 Nov 1096 to the 9th crusade in 1271 were all about recapturing the Holy Land from the Muslims and creating Jerusalem which took place in 1099. 5,000 knights, 30,000 foot soldiers are said to have taken part.
Essentially what needs to be remembered is that it was the Church that called for blood with the promise of indulgences for those who fought against the enemies of Christendom. The Holy Crusades took place in Palestine, Egypt, Spain, the Baltics, Italy, Sicily, Southern France and Syria making any to wonder if the present is a repetition of history! 1,500,000 people were killed because of the Pope’s orders. Are the crusades another name for the present ‘just wars’!
The extermination of Pagans
No sooner Christianity was made legal in 315, pagan temples were attacked and destroyed. Between 315 and 6th century thousands of pagan believers were slain. Christian Emperor Theodosius (408-450) even had children executed, because they had been playing with remains of pagan statues. Emperor Karl (Charlemagne) in 782 had 4500 Saxons, unwilling to convert to Christianity, beheaded. Battle of Belgrad in 1456 witnessed 80,000 Turks slaughtered.
The Church extermination of witches
“Burning times” by Inkubus Sukkubus gives details of the Churches probably between 50,000 and 100,000 alleged witches were burned alive or hung over a five century interval
1450: Johann Gutenberg invented moveable type which made mass printing possible. This enabled the wide distribution of Papal bulls and books on Witch persecution; the witch hunt was greatly facilitated
1484: Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull “Summis desiderantes” on DEC-5 which promoted the tracking down, torturing and executing of Satan worshipers.
Christians kill Jews
in the 4th and 5th centuries synagogues were burned by Christians. Number of Jews slain unknown. During the 1st Crusade in 1096 close to 12000 Jews were slain. In 1349 more than 350 towns in Germany were burned. In 1492 when Colombus sailed more than 150,000 Jews were expelled from Spain.
The 1568 Spanish Inquisition Tribunal ordered extermination of 3 million rebels. Roughly 30,000 Protestants were slain in 17th century when Catholics sacked the city of Magdeburg/Germany. Poet Friedrich Schller writes “in a single church 50 women were found beheaded and infants still sucking the breasts of their lifeless mothers”. It was Francis Xavier who brought the Inquisition to India leading to thousands of deaths. He was rewarded with Sainthood and his criminal & murderous past forgiven. Another murderer was canonized in 1935 for burning heretics and reformers alive. He became Sir Thomas Moore.
Colonial crimes – enslavement, territory take over, theft of wealth, destruction of history, elimination of non-Christian religions in Africa, Asia, South America.
1455 Papal Bull Romanus Pontifex declared by the Pope permitted killing, forcible conversion and enslavement of non-believers and the right to take over these inhabited lands and claim them ‘discovered’ by Christian rulers. Columbus was a slave trader and Holy Crusader. “Discovery” of the New World was to take over lands and propagate Christianity. 2/3 of natives in America’s were killed by colonist-imported smallpox. The Indian Chief Hatuey fled with his people but were captured and burnt alive watched by Franciscan friars. The Christian West invented cruelties never seen before. By the time Columbus and others had finished 1/3 of the population had been killed and by 16th century 200,000 Spaniards had moved to the Americas.
Rudolph J Rummel estimates 14million native Americans had been killed by Europeans in their quest to conquest and steal lands and spread Christianity by force. 150m Indians in both America’s are said to have been killed between 1500 to 1900 (smallpox, slavery, murder)!
Rummel also estimates 17million Africans to have been killed by Europeans.
By 1860s the native population of Hawaii had been reduced by 90% and the Christian Missionaries were proud of their role! Fast forward to 1940s when in Croatia extermination camps were run by Catholic Ustasha and the Pope was a regular visitor to these camps which were exclusively for children!
The Mayas, Incas and their history is no more thanks to the annihilation principles of the Church and the Portuguese. The same occurred to Native Indians in North America. Africa’s and Asia’s civilizational histories have been slowly extinguished and replaced with Western lifestyles that are dehumanizing people and creating psychologically deranged masses.
It was the Catholic lobby in Washington that pushed for US forces in Vietnam. They were called ‘Soldiers of Christ’ and responsible for placing Catholic dictator Ngo Dinh Diem at the helm denying food and aid to the majority Buddhists in Vietnam.
That was in the 1960s. Coming to 1994 it was Rwanda a small African country where hundreds and thousands of people were butchered. The role of Catholic clergy in these massacres are often kept hidden. But a newscast in Germany in 1996 stated “Anglican as well as Catholic priests and nuns are suspect of having actively participated in murders. Especially the conduct of a certain Catholic priest has been occupying the public mind in Rwanda’s capital Kigali for months. …he is reported to have accompanied marauding Hutu militia with a gun in his cowl.”
Whether there is a God or Jesus or not it is the teacher-heads of these organized religions that have been responsible for history’s killings. Wars and inhumanities have led to Christian killings of an estimated 17million people. The other killings include Hitlers angst against the Jews, Stalins purging of 40m, killings during Mau’s rule, Cambodia to the recent killings in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya & now Syria in another Western inquisition to take over lands.
The West and the Church point fingers at others totally ignoring church policy that ignored child molestors and paedophile priests (11,750 US cases from 1950-2004), ignoring financial scandals, smuggling war criminals to South America during Hitler, Vatican City housed and protected Ustashi mass murderers, the murders of the inquisitions, the Church invented some of the heinous forms of torture, genocide of natives when Church ordered ‘Discovery of Lands’, Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with Mussolini in 1929 affirming dictator’s rule and is no different to the manner puppet dictators function protected by Western Christian nations.
We seem to forget how Hitler invaded Yugoslavia and split Croatia as a Catholic state to reward the Vatican’s dreams of creating a Catholic state in the Balkans as a bulwark against Islam. Pavelic the designated leader was a convicted murderer but his goons and Catholic priests butchered with Orthodox Christians converted to Catholicism. In 4 years an estimated 600,000 people are said to have been killed and tens of millions looted from the Croatian people and deposited in the Vatican. Stepinac became a Cardinal and in 1998 his beautification took place by Pope John Paul II! Pavelic was on trial in Nuremberg but was transferred to the Vatican! Nazis were smuggled to Argentina by the Vatican. A book by Horace Verbitsky El Silencio details how the Catholic Church participated in the 1976-1983 dictatorship that murdered 30,000 people.
Vaticans ties with the mafia is linked to the secret Vatican bank where money laundering is conducted via the mafia, CIA and the Church.
CIA-Church links to the mind-control program, the car bombs in Northern Ireland in 1972 by Catholic priest James Chesney who was the Director of Operations in the IRA, the Catholic run ‘orphanages’ in Quebec where over 20,000 children suffered unimaginable horror (children whipped with chains, sexually assaulted, and subject to electric shocks) and used as lab-rats. The Canadian govt refused the request by some surviving children in 2004 to open the mass graves and as a cover up the Canadian Govt agreed to pay compensation. In 1909 Dr Peter Bryce claimed the church deliberately exposed native children to smallpox and tuberculosis in Canada.
We cannot forget over 500 years of criminalities and genocide practiced by the Church in partnership with Western governments. 80% of world population was reduced in a span of 200 years. Native children were abused, killed or indoctrinated. The secretive Catholic cult Opus Dei using scientology is being used to promote fascist agenda and has an office in Sri Lanka too! The calls for women’s rights are just a whitewash, women have no place in Church ideology. The new trend for same sex marriages and gay rights is also a whitewash as can be seen when a Catholic priest openly announced he was gay and was immediately excommunicated recently by the present Pope!
We return to Europe where the Church is taking over Slovakia to create a new fascist stronghold and Slovakia has virtually ceded its sovereignty to the Church. What is happening around the world is the manner that a handful of people who have no loyalty to any nation are controlling world events. World War 1 and 2 were used to change national boundaries and if we look carefully we should notice how the new wars are being created to dissolve national boundaries and create corporate states and it is they who will govern and replace nations and their political leaders. Cameron used the Christian card to win the recent elections. Many other nations of Europe openly declare their Christian heritage but when it comes to non-Christian majority nations except Islam the immediate call is to use ‘multicultural liberal multifaith’ slogans so that it would be easier for the Christian elements to penetrate and start controlling and influencing until such time they can change the demography as has happened in South Korea.
Wars have been about lust for power and money (often driven by religion) which provides the genesis for the CIA-UK created Wahhabi Muslims and a war on terror to enable Christian West soldiers to come to the rescue. This logic rarely appeals to the followers of both faiths due to their spiritual enslavement by worshipping an invisible entity and the other logic which does not make sense. Essentially no one needs to have a religion or be religious to lead an honest and compassionate life.
The excuse often used to cover these sins of the Christian West are ‘it all happened a long time ago’ but aren’t these crimes still continuing under different names?
With so many crimes that continue unabated does the Christian West have any moral right to be demanding accountability from countries when they are ignoring the millions killed by them in atrocious tortures designed by their religious institutions and committed by the leaders of their faiths? These sins need to be now brought into the open and justice must be served because their sins have never stopped and are being committed under new names!
Shenali D Waduge
D.Stannard, American Holocaust,
A.Manhattan, The Vatican’s Holocaust
H.C.Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages
S.Eidelberg, The Jews and the Crusaders