A Reply to Father S.L.C. Knight

R Chandrasoma

The Rev. S.L.C. Knight (Dean of the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour)( See Daily Mirror, April 22, 2002 ) has taken umbrage at the observation of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad that the Religion of Jesus is being aggressively marketed in Sri Lanka and that among the avid 'buyers' are the poor expatriate Hindus living in the East and the Central Hills. What is deemed offensive is not the factuality of the observation : it is its disruptive impact on a tranquil equilibrium that is supposed to be in place in our fair Island a state of affairs described as 'Multi-Religious Culture and Inter-Faith Union'.

Unhappily, we cannot concur with the forced optimism of Rev. Knight . The reality is that the great religions of Asia, Buddhism and Hinduism are losing adherents at an alarming rate. This is not due to a re-awakening of the soul of the poor heathen due to the mellifluous influence of Christ's teaching. Rather, it is due to the institutional and financial clout of a 'charismatic' church that is determined to make Sri Lanka a Christian country.

To describe this miserably one-sided state of affairs by such corny euphemisms as 'Multi-Religious Culture' and 'Inter-Faith Union' is an insult to the poor people of this country who are forced to witness the uncouth solicitations of religious vendors who are firmly convinced that money speaks even if their 'word' sounds weak.

There is a reference to religious wars. This is largely a Judeo-Christian concept that has dominated European and Middle Eastern history for centuries. This concept was introduced to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese in the 16th Century. So far there has neither been an apology nor payment of adequate compensation for the ' religious wars ' waged against the Buddhists of this country by the Western powers.


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