Will Hinduism Take Over Christianity?

Hinduism and Christianity

by Jayaram V

Religions seldom make people peaceful or spiritual. They make them angry and violent. They are followed by a good number of people who are predominantly intolerant, ignorant and even irrational. They may vary in their degree of intolerance, but they are all intolerant to a degree. Their intolerance grows according to the intolerance of others. The world is full of religious people who do not really believe in their religions or practice the morality and religiosity their religion uphold. Religions are also used not to liberate people from worldliness but to control them and manipulate them. They are used to promote fear and exploit the sentiment of people for social, political or economic reasons.

Religions are major sources of violence and communal discard in many parts of the world. Even after thousands of religious wars and major world wars, we have not learned any lessons. If there is one major threat to the humanity and the planet earth, it would be clearly the possibility of a manmade catastrophe caused by religious animosity, hatred or intolerance. The threat would come from religions that follow the distorted thinking of "All, or Nothing." In psychology such thinking is considered a cognitive distortion and a major source of unhappiness and depression. However, unfortunately, in some religions, it is considered a virtue.

Hinduism existed in the Indian subcontinent for over 6000 years in various forms. The Hinduism that we have today in India is much different from the religious traditions that prevailed in the country about 4000 years ago. The tolerance of Hinduism is a myth. Hinduism is an equally intolerant religion. The caste system, systematic exclusions of lower castes from religious teaching, the refusal of orthodox Hindus to communicate socially with outsiders, and the convertion of many Buddhist and Jain shrines into Hindu temples are a few examples of such intolerance.

History shows that the intolerance of Hindus manifested as withdrawal and avoidance rather than confrontation, engagement and elimination. Modern Hindus do believe in tolerance, but if you visit message forums and social network sites, you may notice that the younger generation is moving away from this ideal and leaning more towards intolerance as a reactionary response. How it is going to shape the future of Hinduism, we have to wait and see.

Christianity came to India in the last phases of the Mughal period and gained some traction during the British rule. Ever since its entry into the Indian subcontinent, it stood at loggerheads with Hinduism as its missionaries engaged in one tactic after another to lure new converts. In many parts of India Christian missionaries are silently but swiftly trying to transform the demography of the country and in the process are using every available tool including the economic incentive to undermine the native religion and gain more followers. The weaknesses of Hinduism are conveniently exploited to influence gullible people, while its own weaknesses are glossed over.

Christianity has failed the West and it will continue to fail many other nations that have taken to the faith. For example, today, majority of world's Christians live in the Latin American countries. These countries are notorious for lawlessness, drug trafficking, political instability, street violence, inhuman cruelty and extreme poverty.

Jesus Christ himself would perhaps reject the Christianity that exists in various parts of the world today. So would be the seers of the Upanishads. Wealth rules all major religions today. Wealthy donors with questionable moral record support religious activities, while wealthy preachers manage huge business empires and lure more customers. Jesus was against wealth and accumulation of wealth. Personally, he would have preferred living in a poor country like Ethiopia, or Sudan rather than Israel, UK, Italy, USSR or the USA. He would have probably walked by the Vatican without entering it to shake hands with the Pope.

As to the question of whether Hinduism will ever take over Christianity, the answer is, "No." Hinduism will never be able to take over Christianity, because Hinduism does not engage missionaries or use propaganda to attract followers. Hinduism would remain a divided religion for the next several decades, because of divisive politics, caste system, and other social, regional and economic problems peculiar to India. Hindus may prosper and progress in various parts of the world, but Hinduism will face many challenges both internally and externally.

If the Indian government decides to withdraw reservations for the reserved castes, Hinduism may lose sizeable following to other religions and suffer a major setback. Therefore, the chances of Hinduism gaining traction are less compared to the chances of it losing sizeable following to Christianity. Some Hindu gurus or spiritual teachers may weaken the religion further and drain its following if they start new religious movements with synthetic new age philosophies, with wider appeal, better resources and organizational ability.

A number of highly educated people and scholars in the West may eventually turn to Hinduism, or Buddhism because of their intellectual appeal, while a number of ignorant Hindus in India may join Christianity and try to propagate it with even more fanatic zeal sowing seeds of further communal tensions. A lot also will depend upon future scientific discoveries and historical findings. If human beings manage to create artificial life or prevent death, or completely reconstruct human consciousness and personality, many religious beliefs and religions will collapse. The same may happen if we find an advanced alien civilization that does not follow any religion.

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