Christian propaganda in Mongolia

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

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

Luke wrote: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.


I think it's a good idea. Create a plan and present it to one of the various groups already working in Mongolia. Reestablishing/strengthening Buddhism in Mongolia is very important to the future of the Dharma.

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,


We need home grown leadership without throwing out the Asian teachers or forcing some kind of premature Western Buddhism.

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).


Well even through Buddhism has been in the West for 150-100 years variously and there have been real Western Buddhists in that time, it is only now that Western Buddhists are actually becoming known as a social force. Western Buddhists are still seen as something faddish.

Also, do not forget that Westerners are deeply impoverished. In many countries everything is done on credit and many Westerners are deeply in debt. Also right now we are in a mild economic depression and many people have lost their jobs.

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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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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

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

ronnewmexico wrote:Yes.....this is exactly what we need to do....

become like the theists

Geeze Louise.....where do you start...?

I don't think it's so much a matter of becoming like theists; it's more a matter of Buddhists using the media more effectively to support Buddhism in a way which reaches more people.

Often remote places in poor countries will only have TVs or radios and don't have internet access. So having a Buddhist radio station or TV station can have a powerful effect on people, especially if it's tailor-made for the local culture and their interests.

While it might be easy to call people who are easily persuaded weak-minded, I think it's important to try and help all beings. If a Buddhist TV channel could mean the difference between many young Mongolians continuing to practice Buddhism instead of abandoning it, I think it would be worth it. Western culture and media is a powerful distraction. If Buddhism could be presented in this same format, it could reach more people around the world.
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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.
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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........



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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

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

Luke wrote:... 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


Basically a fair and balanced presentation (so we know it wasn't from Fox) - people do have the right to pursue the faith of their choice. The prosperity religion pushed by some Christians is not so different from the prosperity strain in Buddhism. In general creating virtue and purifying negativities produces positive samsaric results.

But painting people as poor because they are Buddhists and other people as rich because they are Christians or Jews ( - ah where to find poor Jews - how about Brooklyn, Yemen and Israel? Anywhere where one has Jewish people there are also poor people just like in any group) is misleading as pointed out and is raw propaganda.

The strategy employed by the Christian youth groups is no different from that employed here in the US by Christian youth outreach groups. Belongingness, newness, escaping problems, teenage experimentation and real true faith all play a role here.

On the TV thing - most Asians (and it seems Mongols are no exception to this) are faith followers (where westerners can become faith followers usually after much meditation although some westerners are faith followers from the beginning). There's not a problem with this. But seeing Buddhism as stepped in superstition on several levels is not an uncommon statement. Basically Buddhism has not been explained much to many younger adherents and this is the problem. So there is a place for Buddhist TV to rectify this.

Our planet has survived the 20th century - a century of blood that saw the murder of some 1/4 - 1/2 billion people and the clear attempt to exterminate Judaism and Buddhism. The world needs virtue and wisdom and this is found in all the world's religions. I think that basically people who are in the different family of faiths are being sorted out by the natural expansion of world wide communication and the spread of religious teaching worldwide. So in this there is probably not much to really be concerned about. Mongolia will end up over the next 100 years more like Korea with respect to major faith in the society. Hopefully there will be no tension between them. As I have said before I think Mongolia is very important to the future of the Dharma worldwide.

However I'm also saddened to be sure. I was supposed to go to Mongolia to teach English to monks and lay Buddhists last year but fell into extreme financial difficulty and was unable to do so. A lama had specifically asked for a western Buddhist who could teach English and I was interviewed by him. With these difficulties I have let people down. Now I'm still in difficulty but my family has been helping me and they will not understand if I just hop up and go to Mongolia after the financial crisis has resolved.

I asked a western Buddhist monk friend who had worked for several years in Mongolia and he said that the Christian missionaries, and esp. the Koreans, were very aggressively proselytizing there.

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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.
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

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

kirtu wrote:However I'm also saddened to be sure. I was supposed to go to Mongolia to teach English to monks and lay Buddhists last year but fell into extreme financial difficulty and was unable to do so. A lama had specifically asked for a western Buddhist who could teach English and I was interviewed by him. With these difficulties I have let people down. Now I'm still in difficulty but my family has been helping me and they will not understand if I just hop up and go to Mongolia after the financial crisis has resolved.

Well, at least you know that were knowledgeable enough and likeable enough to get the job. You probably just need to create a bit more good karma before it will all work out. I would recommend doing as many nyungnes as you can. I feel that my life has improved a great deal since I did my last nyungne. The Thousand-Armed Chenrezig's blessings are beyond measure.

At least you already practice the Dharma. It's just a matter of time before your life improves again.
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Re: Christian propaganda in Mongolia

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

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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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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:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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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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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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