Oct 22, 1999 11:47 AM
by M K Ramadoss
Southern Baptists target Hindus
October 22, 1999
Web posted at: 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention -- the nation's
largest Protestant denomination -- is urging its members to pray for the
millions of Hindus "lost in the hopeless darkness of Hinduism."
Some 30,000 booklets to be issued Monday in time for Divali, the major
Hindu festival of lights, calls for the conversion of those "who worship
gods which are not God." The booklet says that Hindus have no concept of
sin or personal responsibility.
The denomination previously published booklets soliciting
prayers for Muslims and Jews, offending leaders of those faiths.
The language in this publication is harsher, said Louis
Moore, the book's editor. "There is a clearer definition that Hindus are
lost," he said, adding: "We're all lost without Jesus Christ."
Divali is a major festival, dedicated to Laksmi, goddess
of prosperity and goodness.
Umaa Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple of Flushing
in New York and secretary-treasuer of the Council of Hindu Temples, said
the timing of the publication is insulting.
Mysorekar said the thinking contained in the guide is
"not only absurd but also ignorant. I don't think Jesus himself would have
said not to respect other religions."
Hari Sharma, president of the Hindu Temple of Greater
Chicago, said: "Whoever publishes such a book does a disservice to the
society. People should understand one another's religions, not go back into
history when we were attacking one another.
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