HHR Concerned About Anti-Hindu Crusade by Rightwing Christians over Yoga Ban

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Hindu Human Rights is concerned by what they believe to be a growing intolerance of the right wing Christian elements in the West which has been increasingly targeting Hindus and Hinduism in recent years. Christian TV channels, radio shows, books, websites, pamphlets and radical preachers often demonising and spewing an ideology of hatred against Hinduism, have created an atmosphere which has led to a rise in hate-crimes against Hindus and Hindu institutions, says HHR. Western governments need to take these issues more seriously, especially considering the fact that many right wing individuals and fundamentalist groups have sympathisers in the political arena.

HHR is concerned by what they believe to be a growing intolerance of the right wing Christian elements in the West which have been increasingly targeting Hindus and Hinduism in recent years. The latest incident where a yoga instructor was banned from using two southwest England churches because the priests considered yoga to be 'un-Christian', cannot be treated as an isolated incident, says HHR. In fact, according to HHR, it is in line with fundamentalist Christian thinkers such as KP Yohannen head of US based Gospel for Asia, who in his book "Revolution in World Missions" refers to yoga as a means "to receive visitation from demon spirits" into the mind and body, as opposed to a practice for spiritual and physical development.

Just last month in the US senate, as the opening prayer was being delivered by Rajan Zed, a Hindu holy man, it was disrupted by a group of Christian fundamentalists shouting, according to news reports, slogans such as "Lord Jesus, forgive us Father for allowing the prayer of the wicked which is an abomination in Your sight." This doesn't come as a surprise to HHR since the United States is also home to a right-wing evangelical lobby, powerful in political clout, financial resources and outreach especially through high-tech media. The billionaire evangelist, founder of the Christian Coalition, and one time presidential candidate Pat Robertson had this to say about Hinduism on his 700 Club daily TV show on 23 March 1995 - "we can't let that stuff come to America" because it is the "work of the Devil".

Also last month in Trinidad, a Hindu temple was vandalized and the religious iconography was smashed by men shouting, according to the local police, "We have the blood of Jesus. You are idols". A similar incident took place in a temple in London a few years earlier, where the image of the deity was smashed by Christian fundamentalists.

According to HHR, all these incidences have to be seen in their wider context where Hinduism often is demonised by Christian evangelists through Christian TV channels, radio shows, websites, and in books such as Karma 'n' chips where ex London Mayor candidate and millionaire evangelist Ram Gidoomal writes 'Hinduism has become like a tampon or sponge that keeps absorbing without ever becoming saturated'. HHR believes that such denigration and misinformation only encourages hate against Hinduism and has led to a rise in hate-crimes against Hindus and Hindu institutions.

Ranbir Singh of HHR emphasizes, "Such incidences are a serious threat to our pluralistic and democratic society and can potentially create disharmony amongst religions. We implore Western governments to take these issues more seriously."

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Hindu Human Rights
Serving Hindus Worldwide

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