Christian propaganda in Mongolia

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Luke
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Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Luke » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:53 am

I saw this depressing video a while ago. At first, I thought it was Christian propaganda, but after a while, I realized that it was really just an accurate documentary about how Christians were spreading their propaganda in Mongolia, mainly by creating local Christian TV channels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE9YvtuhY70

Watching this made me think that Buddhists around the world should fund a Buddhist TV channel in Mongolia in order to counter the influence of the Christians there. A local Buddhist TV channel could remind Mongolians to be proud of their amazing Buddhist heritage and it could have talk shows in which ordinary people with problems are given solutions from a Buddhist point of view.

Why do you think that western Christians always put so much money into programs in foreign countries, but western Buddhists do not? I guess in the west, we usually assume that Buddhism doesn't need any marketing in traditionally Buddhist countries, but I think this video shows that Buddhism can really lose out if it doesn't have an appealing media outlet in a country.

Although I find the Christian TV channel in Mongolia quite sinister, I do admire the Christian missionary who was giving people farming equipment and other necessities in remote parts of Mongolia. I think there should be Buddhist missionaries doing the same thing, so that the local people don't feel that Christians are the only ones who care about them and their problems. What do you think?

I think that we western Buddhists are a sleeping giant who needs to mobilize, find its collective voice, and use its talents and resources to improve the world. Often western Buddhists are quite shy in Christian countries, but I think it's important to make our voices heard and to support fellow Buddhists in other countries (especially poor ones).

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ronnewmexico
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:57 am

It is partial and inherant to Christianity to spread the word. Part and parcel when in Buddhism it is a afterthought.

So I don't think such a thing will happen.

If peoples minds are like marshmellows and they buy any ideology or religion that passes their way abeit some armed with tractors and such..... the problem is not that they are not Buddhists or loose their Buddhist faith but that their brains have become marshmellows. Marshmellows to my clarification are people who have no strong convicted views about anything. They are present everywhere not just in Mongolia.

Something is bound to come along that people whose brains are marshmellows will follow.Today it is christianity. Tomorrow if someone comes selling hedonism or naked greed it will be those things.

So what can one do to combat marshmellowism. Buddhism helps but really the problem with marshmellowism is not able mostly to be combatted by simple religious application. The issue lies far deeper.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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Sherab
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Sherab » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:49 am

Buddhism seems to be inherently passive. Even the Buddha Sakyamuni himself seemed to teach only when asked, and not otherwise. Then there is the view that even to meet the Dharma, one must have created the karma for that to happen.

"Marshmellowism" seems to me to be too one-dimensional a factor. I have friends who are highly intelligent - for example, one was a CEO of a large company and one was a university professor - but yet, they were firm believers in Christianity. I have participated in Christian forums and raised logical issues with Christianity to see what answers and reactions I would get. From the responses that I got, I sensed that their emotional need to believe in a higher power was very strong so much so that highly creative rationalizations were given to get around the logical issue.

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ronnewmexico
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:33 pm

So all then have a tendency to be..christian?

Sorry no I do not find that to be true. I did however once take a review of how many times the Christain way of thinkiing was affirmed and mentioned often in quite subtle ways in American media. it would surprise you.

Point being western culture always reflects theism. It presents in many forms sometimes quite subtle.

My point nevertheless is not tha all christians are marshmellow heads but that people influenced greatly by evangelical tourists generally are. This implies to any that are willing to summarily change their beliefs upon any brief exposure to a thing. They are just not well grounded in what they did believe...it does not speak to the truth or need to believe in the object now presented to them. It speaks to their lack of grounding.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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Sherab
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Sherab » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:40 am

My bad. I missed your definition of what a mashmellow is.

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Tatsuo
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Tatsuo » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:48 am

I think we Buddhists have to aquire more self esteem. We don't have to envy the Christians for their success in converting people and see Buddhism as being the victim. Strangely this documentary, although implicitly criticising the Christians for their unfair convertion methods, still portrays the missionary work as a story of success and Buddhism as part of a old and even obsolete culture. Well yes, the christians have had some success in convering Buddhists, but who says, that they will keep their new aquired faith for a deity? Christianity may be en vogue among some younger groups in asia, but Buddhism still has much more to offer, than just praying to a certain god - with Buddhism one can overcome suffering and obtain enlightenment! When we act with self-assurance and communicate our strong points, Buddhism can flourish - not only in Asia, but also in the West and other parts of the world.

And we could write a Buddhist story of success for the West, too. Buddhism is being practiced even in remote villages in the West and not only in the cities. Many Buddhists in the West are teenagers and young adults, who will be able to teach Buddhism, when the older generation of Buddhists has passed away. We can learn one thing from the success of the Christians: It takes self esteem and not complaining to flourish (i don't see Christians moaning all the time about the small numbers of Christians in Mongolia for example).

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kirtu
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby kirtu » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:30 am



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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ronnewmexico
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:54 am

Yes.....this is exactly what we need to do....

become like the theists

Geeze Louise.....where do you start...?
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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Luke
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Luke » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:14 pm


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ronnewmexico
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:56 pm

Well I am not..."While it might be easy to call people who are easily persuaded weak-minded" calling peoples anything. I am stateing this is how people in that situation would be. If they had a foundation in anything such as Buddhism the attempts by evangelicals to win them over would fall like evangelical attempts in the colonial era fell mostly like seeds on bare ground. Japan China these places did not become in the great majority Christian and it is not for lack of trying.

To replicate this way of doing things seems not a wise thing to do. People so influenced are indeed always weak minded in that particular fashion. I am not calling them that a name....that is how they are the behavior is the proof. It is just they have no strong belief in what they believe,it is not a racial or religious determination.

So why would you want to spread the word of Buddhism to people who generally do not even hold strongly the beliefs of the place they are in and the way they were brought up. YOu would be courting the most weak willed of the weak. Could such peoples become successful Buddhist as they could become successful theists....I'd say no. Theism is way way easier perhaps suited a bit to such peoples. This is why to my opinion theism is more prone to manipulation for purpose of war and such it is suited to peoples who may be inclined to be weak in their foundational philosophies.

So why go the lesser road....I see no point. They should successfully learn and follow the religion of the place of their birth as that is where with very few exceptions they are karmically suited. When that is fully learned and they then find it is inferior to Buddhism of course....welcome them with open arms.

Christianity is simply inferior to Buddhism in many ways.To replicate the inferior in their ways and means makes no sense to me. Replicate their compassionate activity perhaps..... something postive in their modus operandi not this thing it is largly not postive. Associated with colonialism it is....firmly so.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

Heruka
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Heruka » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:01 am

the basic idea behind it all is to say your born imperfect and sick, and only through the gatekeepers (priest caste) of a any geographical based faith, can a subjective, local God make you healthy........



but send money now!

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kirtu
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby kirtu » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:53 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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BFS
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby BFS » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:41 pm

I like what Robert Thurman had to say about converting others when George Bush introduced the funding of faith based organizations.

"If religious organizations are running programs that help people in non-religious ways, such as helping the poor with food and shelter, helping prisoners with education, helping people during times of disasters, they should of course be funded, but only on condition that they not proselytize their religious beliefs while dispensing the needed assistance. They may find their satisfaction by demonstrating how their faith makes them charitable, kind, and compassionate, while restraining themselves from using others' vulnerabilities as opportunities for forcing their ideas upon them."

:bow:


I am all for diversity, I think proselytizing is aggressive, aggression is not always loud and pushy, sometimes it can be sweet and syrupy.
I like what His Holiness said in His - A Human Approach to World Peace - excerpts -
"We should have total confidence in our own spiritual path along with perfect respect toward other truths. We cannot hide the doctrinal differences that exist among various faiths, nor can we hope to replace the existing religions by a new universal belief. Each religion has its own distinctive contributions to make, and each in its own way is suitable to a particular group of people as they understand life. The world needs them all." HH Dalai Lama





Let fall the rain of the profound and extensive Dharma
In whatever form is suitable for subduing sentient beings.
:bow:

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Luke
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Luke » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:47 pm


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Tatsuo
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Tatsuo » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:58 am


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mudra
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby mudra » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:31 am

I was in Mongolia for the Kalachakra in 1995 that HHDL gave. The Christians then were paying people to convert. Some of the Mongols, ever adaptable, would "convert" several times in different places thus accumulating enough for a few weeks worth of vodka or whatever they needed.

HHDL asked us, the few non-Mongols present, to reach out talk to the people there because he felt while they were rediscovering pride in Genghis Khan, they were very skeptical of Buddhism. A couple of us even did a little "talk show" in the main theatre of Ulan Bataar (Richard Gere being the big draw - were almost killed by hordes of stunning beauties in high heeled boots and mini skirts).

The problem lies in the fact that during the decades of communism most monks were killed or compromised, and the vinaya underwent some severe distortion. When they came 'out' again there these monks that were married etc. So the modern Mongolians didn't really see Buddhism as something enlightened, it was more anachronistic, a hangover from feudal days. That's much harder to tackle than there being nothing there before at all.

There have been efforts by Tibetan organizations (at the time Kelsang Yeshi was Kalon for Religious affairs and organized for Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche to teach in Mongolia) and the FPMT to reach out to Mongolia. I am not sure where it stands today.

But Christian missionaries were also in Tibet, India and so forth. Equal opportunity?


(ps my avatar is a picture I took on that trip)

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Mr. G
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby Mr. G » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:26 am

That's an interesting, yet sad story mudra.

And I like your avatar! :thumbsup:

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BFS
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby BFS » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:25 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences, mudra. :heart:

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses this issue with His usual wisdom, humour and compassion, in this Q & A session given during the recent wonderful Heart Sutra teachings.


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BFS
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

Postby BFS » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:30 pm

Threads like this bring to mind how His Holiness the Dalai Lama always stresses the importance of study, study study! One of my favourite quotes: "May we always generate conviction and enthusiasm in Buddha's doctrine through understanding what it is" ( sorry forgot the source :emb: )
It is so so so so true. One could go for tens of years a member of a tradition, and not having investigated properly at the outset, not really have a clue as to why ..then one day someone or something else comes along, and off one goes, swept away, convinced otherwise, now on the 'right' path? Until something else comes up?
Study, study study, and don't think meditation is just to relax, navel gaze and follow your breath. One needs to bring all those teachings and empowerments collected over years, to life, so one can gain conviction in the Buddha's doctrine through understanding what it is, for oneself. So important.

End of soapbox yak. ;)


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