Christianity is not Krishna-Neeti and the Vatican was never a Shiva temple – Koenraad Elst

Vatican City - Shiva LingamTwo photos, taken from above the subjects,  the one on the left of St Peter’s Square and Church being an aerial photo.  The contention is that because St Peter’s Square with Bernini’s curved colonnade on each side looks like the yoni base of a Shiva Lingam, Bernini must have copied a Shiva Lingam when he built the colonnade between 1656 and 1667. Bernini certainly did not know anything about Hinduism and had never seen a Shiva Lingam. He says that he built the colonnade around the obelisk in the square’s centre—placed there in 1586, many decades before he arrived—so as to embrace visitors in “the maternal arms of Mother Church.” The Mother Church was St Peter’s Basilica at the top of the square. It was completed in 1590 in the form of a Roman cross—as can be seen in the photo—and is neither the first church so constructed or the last, all classical churches being constructed in the form of a cross. So the photos above are a mischievous arbitrary comparison without rationale, created to mislead the credulous viewer into believing that Hindus had a worldwide religious empire in prehistory whose symbols and architecture Christians have plagiarized. — Editor 

Dr. Koenraad Elst“The very numerous P.N. Oak party members among the Hindus are not only an endless source of laughter for all enemies of Hinduism. They are also a useful fifth column within the crumbling fortress of Indian Paganism. For the sake of Hindu survival, it is vital that real history gets restored: not only against the secular anti-Hindu version, but also against the Hindu caricature.” – Dr Koenraad Elst

P. N. OakQuite frequently, my mailbox is hit by yet another product of the P. N. Oak-type imagination. This one refers to a web article on IndiaDivine.org [ISKCON], dated 14 June 2014, called Was the Christian Vatican Originally a Temple to Lord Shiva? allegedly by Dr Subramanian Swamy.

It claims that “Rome’s church compound is in the shape of Shiva Lingam”. It also suggests, citing as its source the “famous historian P. N. Oak”, that Vatican comes from Sanskrit vatika (“park, religious centre”), Christianity from Krishna-neeti (“Krishna’s policy”, “the way of Krishna”), and Abraham from Brahma. Conclusion is that it’s all “plagiarism by the West”.

In fact, the shape of the church [and plaza] is standard, and therefore the claim implies that most classical churches, thousands of them, are really shaped like Shiva Lingams. If your eyes are very hazy, you might indeed get the impression of a similarity. This school is quickly satisfied with a mere semblance of similarity. Thus, a 3-shaped sign in the undeciphered Indus script is declared to be ॐ sign; as is a door ornament on the Red Fort, equally deemed to have been “originally a Hindu temple”. But even if a more perceptive look were to confirm this impression of similarity, it doesn’t prove a causal relation. The likeness between vatika and Vatican is claimed to “prove that the Vatican was a Hindu (Vedic) religious centre before its incumbent was forced to accept Christianity from 1st century AD”. No, this phrase merely shows the miserably low standards of proof Jesus & Krishna: Are they the same?applied by the Hindu history-rewriters. Also, no evidence is attempted, or known from elsewhere, for the momentous replacement or forcible conversion of this Vedic pontiff.

As for the etymologies, they are false. Vaticanus Collis [or Vaticanus Mons] means “seers’ hill”, from vates meaning “seer, poet, inspired speaker”, related to the Germanic god-name Woden, meaning “fury, trance”. Christianity combines the Latin endings -(i)anus and –itas, meaning “follower of” and “the property/system/collectivity of”, with the Greek word Christos, “anointed”, as translation of the Biblical Hebrew word Mashiah, “anointed crown-prince, messiah”. Ab-raham is Hebrew and means “father of many ”, while Brahma originally means “great, growth”, related to Germanic berg, “mountain”. These Biblical words have nothing to do with their Sanskrit look-alikes.

Further, it claims that amen really comes from om/aum. Amen is Hebrew for “so be it, truly”, and has nothing to do with om/aum. For that matter, the frequent assertion in some yogic circles that Latin omnis, “all”, is also related, is equally untrue. Omnis is a phonetic adaptation from op-nis, with the root op-, “many”, related to the Latin-derived word opulence. The word amen is cognate to Arabic “amin“, which also means “certain”. A well-known Urdu word derived from it is mo’min, “one who takes as certain”, “believer”, hence “Muslim”. So according to these history-rewriters, a Muslim really is an “Om-sayer”!

ISKCONIt further claims that “all religions are one and are derived from Vedic Sanatana Dharma” and that “both Christianity and Islam originated as distortions of Vedic beliefs”. This is flatly untrue, but nonetheless Padres and Mullahs will welcome it if it helps in reconciling Hindu parents to their daughter’s elopement with a Christian or Muslim man and conversion to his religion: “Hey, Mom and Dad, don’t worry, it’s only a variation on the Vedic religion, as you yourselves always say!”

So, the very numerous P.N. Oak party members among the Hindus are not only an endless source of laughter for all enemies of Hinduism. They are also a useful fifth column within the crumbling fortress of Indian Paganism. For the sake of Hindu survival, it is vital that real history gets restored: not only against the secular anti-Hindu version, but also against the Hindu caricature.

Vatican City

Jesus and the impending genocide – Kalavai Venkat

Jesus unleashes the four horsemen of the Apocalypse on mankind!

Kalavai Venkat“Hitler killed six million, Mao Tse-tung killed 45 million, and Stalin deliberately killed an estimated six million civilians. But remember, these 20th century monsters used modern weaponry and an industry-grade killing apparatus. Jesus, on the other hand, simply relies upon a Bronze Age weapon – a sickle, and yet beats these 20th century wimps hands down.” – Kalavai Venkat 

Steve WellsChristian propagandists claim that Jesus Christ is a symbol of love and compassion. However, The Bible tells a different story. In Drunk with Blood – God’s Killings in the Bible (pp. 271-274), Steve Wells admirably summarizes the biblical verses that portray Jesus as a bloodthirsty genocidal maniac. Wells is the creator of the famed Skeptic’s Annotated Bible website and funnily informs that he has “spent way too much time analyzing the three worst books (The BibleThe Quran, and The Book of Mormon) ever written.”

Let us now turn to Wells’ analysis of genocide that The Bible warns Jesus is going to unleash upon us. According to The Bible, Jesus would return to the earth holding a sickle in his hand (Revelation 14:14). An angel would tell him that it is time to start a bloody genocide. Another sickle-wielding angel would join Jesus and the duo would start a violent carnage. The blood they spill would cover the ground up to the horses’ bridles in a space of 1,600 furlongs (Revelation 14:15-20).

Now, 1,600 furlongs is about 320 kilometers, and a horse’s bridle is 1.5 meters high or so. If we take the bloodbath to be circular with a diameter of 320 kilometers, then the total volume is 1.2 x 1014 liters. Since an adult has about 5 liters of blood, that gives us 2.4 x 1013 (24 trillion) people. That is 4,000 times more people than what inhabit the earth now. Perhaps Jesus would wait till the population explodes to 24 trillion before unleashing this genocide. My Lord, thy mercy is limitless!

Wells points out that there is another way to estimate the number of dead on the doomsday. This revised estimate might appeal to those who abhor population explosion. According to this contradictory biblical prophecy, Jesus would unleash the might of the sword and hunger to annihilate a fourth of the population (Revelation 6:8). Assuming that the much awaited Second Coming of Jesus happens today, a fourth of the seven billion human beings (i.e., 1.75 billion) would be slaughtered.

Jesus DOESN'T love you!Jesus would then let loose four angels, who would massacre one-third of the remaining population (i.e., 1.75 billion). Jesus won’t take the chill pill yet. He would instead command 200 million fire-breathing horsemen to massacre a third of the survivors. In all, 4.7 billion humans would be killed when Jesus returns.

No matter whether one subscribes to the lower limit of 4.7 billion or the upper limit of the incredible 24 trillion, Jesus would be winning the Olympic gold for committing genocides if there were one. Other genocidal maniacs pale in comparison: Hitler killed six million, Mao Tse-tung killed 45 million, and Stalin deliberately killed an estimated six million civilians. But remember, these 20th century monsters used modern weaponry and an industry-grade killing apparatus. Jesus, on the other hand, simply relies upon a Bronze Age weapon – a sickle, and yet beats these 20th century wimps hands down.

Hail Jesus! You are my superstar!

Now imagine a Hindu scripture endorsing such genocides by a Hindu God or Goddess. Christian propagandists and their leftist minions would’ve taken Hinduism to task. But then Christianity, which actually sanctifies genocides, is portrayed as the ‘religion of love.’ The shameless pseudo-intellectual Amartya Sen even infamously proclaimed that indoctrinating children in the violent teachings of Christianity in schools is “perfectly acceptable“ whereas teaching them the wisdom of Hinduism and its harmonious teachings is not. Sen also perversely claimed that Christian indoctrination creates a “tolerant atmosphere.”

Perhaps, Sen hopes that he wouldn’t be among the 4.7 billion victims of Jesus. Alas, I have bad news for the shameless Sen. The Bible says that only 144,000 male Jewish virgins would survive the slaughter (Revelation 14:3-4). Unless Sen is a Jewish virgin male, I am sorry to say that his hopes are misplaced. – IndiaFacts, 27 February 2014 

 »  Kalavai Venkat is a Silicon Valley-based writer and a practising agnostic Hindu. He is the author of the forthcoming book What Every Hindu Should Know About Christianity

Jesus Exposed!

Was Jesus really born? – Virendra Parekh

Virendra Parekh“Missionary propaganda would leave the impression that Jesus was a mighty figure who took the world by storm as soon as he appeared on the scene. However, the ‘solid historical figure’ melts into thin air at the first brush with modern historical research. Biblical and Christological research undertaken in the West during the last two and a half centuries has cast doubt on the historicity of every aspect of the life of Jesus, including his existence as a historical person.” – Virendra Parekh

Joseph with his stepson Jesus (Guido Reni)“Let me tell you at the outset that Jesus is no mythological mumbo-jumbo like your Rama and Krishna, and even Buddha. On the contrary, he was a solid historical figure whose miracles were witnessed and vouchsafed by many contemporary people,” said a Jesuit missionary to Sita Ram Goel. Let us have a closer look at this ‘solid historical figure’.

Historicity of Jesus as described in Gospels has been one of the principal dogmas of all Christian denominations. Now, as Ram Swarup used to say, historicity by itself does not mean much. You and I are historical persons, but that fact by itself does not confer greatness or any other virtue on us. However, when historicity of the founder is touted as a point of superiority, we are inclined to examine it a little more closely.

The missionary propaganda would leave the impression that Jesus was a mighty figure who took the world by storm as soon as he appeared on the scene. However, the ‘solid historical figure’ melts into thin air at the first brush with modern historical research. Biblical and Christological research undertaken in the West during the last two and a half centuries has cast doubt on the historicity of every aspect of the life of Jesus, including his existence as a historical person.

Albert Schweitzer, the world famous theologian and missionary, admitted that, “There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the Life of Jesus. The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the Kingdom of the God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth and died to give his work final consecration, never had any existence. This image has not been destroyed from without. It has fallen to pieces, cleft and disintegrated by concrete historical problems which came to surface one after the other and … refused to be palmed down to fit the design on which Jesus of the theology has been constructed…”[1]

Edward Gibbon

Silence of the Pagans

The history of ancient Rome has been recorded in great detail. There is a vast body of historical and philosophical literature written in or referring to the time-frame when Jesus is supposed to have walked the earth. But that literature is oblivious of the mighty figure called Jesus Christ. Seneca (2 BC-66 AD), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Martial (40-102 AD), Plutarch (45-125 AD), Juvenal (55-140 AD), Apuleius (d. 170 AD), Pausanius (d. 185 AD) and Dio Casius (155-240 AD) do not mention any Jesus or Christ. Epictetus (50-100 AD) refers to Galileans starting with Judas the Galilean who led the Jewish revolt against Rome in the first decade of the First Century, but not to Jesus of Nazareth who is supposed to have come from Galilee shortly afterwards. There is no reference to any Jesus in any pagan work of the time.

“The name of Seneca, of the elder and the younger Pliny, of Tacitus, of Plutarch, of Galen, of the slave Epictetus, and the emperor Marcus Antonius, adorn the age in which they flourished, and exalt the dignity of human nature…. Yet all these sages (it is no less an object of surprise than of concern) overlooked or rejected the perfection of the Christian system….” says Edward Gibbon in his classic Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.[2] Read it between the lines to grasp what he wants to convey to a largely Christian readership without causing offence. He adds, equally meaningfully, “those among them who condescend to mention the Christians consider them only as obstinate and perverse enthusiasts who exacted an implicit submission to their mysterious doctrines without being able to produce a single argument that could engage the attention of men of sense and learning.”

There are a few words or stray passages referring to “Chrestus” or his worshippers in Pliny the Younger (60-114 AD), Tacitus (55-120 AD), Suetonius (70-120 AD) and Sulpicius Severus (d. 400 AD). The word “Chrestus” (“good” or “agreeable”) was used as an appellation for characters belonging to several sects. It did not mean anything like ‘Christ’ or ‘Christos’. That alone can explain the attempt by a Christian scribe to scratch the “e” in Chrestus and replace it by an “i” in a manuscript of Tacitus.[3]

Critical scrutiny has shown that all these references either do not relate to Jesus of Nazareth, or are influenced by Christian tradition, or are clever Christian fabrications. Ian Wilson concludes that “in all this there is scarcely a crumb of information to compel a belief in Jesus’ existence”.[4] Paul Johnson comments that fabrications “occur throughout the history of Christianity up to Renaissance and even beyond”.[5]

Sita Ram Goel has pointed out that word “Christian” does not appear in the Christian literature itself before 140 AD. On the other hand, anti-Christian polemics which appears for the first time around 160 AD, starts by questioning the existence of a character called Jesus Christ.[6]

Flavius JosephusNon-evidence of Jewish historians

As per Christian tradition, Jesus was a Jew who lived in Palestine during the first 30 or 33 years of the era which is supposed to have begun from the year of his birth. One would expect him to get a pride of place in the writings of Jewish historians who lived and wrote during the same period or a little later. It is, therefore, strange that they are silent on Jesus or the religion he is said to have founded. Philo (20 BC-54 AD), who wrote a history of the Jews, knows no Jesus Christ and no Christians. Nor does another historian of the same period, Justus of Tiberius.

The most interesting case is that of Flavius Josephus who lived from AD 36 or 37 to 99 or 100. He has authored two monumental works – The Jewish War in 77 AD and the Antiquities of the Jews in 92 AD – which are regarded as a major source for the history of Palestine in the first century. Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, his works have been doctored by Christian scribes to impart a semblance of historicity to Jesus. Christian apologists point to two passages, one long and the other very short, which mention Jesus as a wise man and also as Christ. But scholars have proved quite convincingly that both of them are either clumsy Christian interpolations or have been tampered with by Christian scribes.

Here they are as they occur in the modern editions of Antiquities of Jews.

(1) Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was doer of miraculous works…. He was Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of many of the principal men amongst us, (i.e. Jews) condemned him to cross (April 3, 33 AD), those that loved him at first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day (April 5, 33 AD)…. (VII, III.3)

The dates in the passage are those which are held by the modern Church, they are not supplied by Josephus. The whole passage is a later interpolation. According to Prof. C.K. Barrett, “The authenticity of Josephus’s reference to Jesus as it stands now is very questionable. The passage is found in all the manuscripts (but none is older than eleventh century) and was known to Eusebius (fourth century) but Origen (first half of the third century) does not seem to have read it, at least in its present form, since he plainly tells us that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Christ.”[7]

(2) … so he (Ananus, the High Priest) assembled the Sanhedrin (assembly) of the judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, … and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of law, he delivered them to be stoned…. (XX IX.1)

The authenticity and credibility of this passage is also dubious because its account of the character of James (as a law breaker) and his death (by stoning) is contradicted by other early accounts.

The vast rabbinical literature of the Jews, composed during the first two and a quarter centuries of the Christian era, contains only five authentic references to Jesus. But they “do not conclusively establish his historicity, as none of them is sufficiently early”. Moreover, “they are so vague in their chronology that they differ by as much as 200 years in the dates they assign to him”. None of the five Jesuses fits the Christian scheme of Jesus Christ’s birth or life or death. The Talmud betrays no knowledge of Jesus independent of the Christian tradition, and it is conceded by most Christian scholars that it “is useless as a source of information about Jesus”.[8]

Will & Ariel DurantThe ‘Evidence’ of Gospels

The quotation marks in the sub-title are used advisedly. In traditions influenced by Christianity, the phrase ‘gospel truth’ signifies something absolutely certain, beyond the pale of doubt. However, the evidence of Jesus’ historicity as provided by gospels is so full of contradictions and inconsistencies as to provide good reason to doubt everything about him, including his existence. These have been noticed not just by sceptics and agnostics, but also by ardent believers. As far back as the fourth century, St. Augustine had said that “only on the authority of the Church could he believe the Gospels.”[9]

Ian Wilson, a practising Catholic, says: “it does not need anyone with a Ph.D. in theology to recognize that the Christian Gospels can scarcely be the infallible works fundamentalists would have us believe”.[10]

Will Durant says: “In summary, it is clear that there are many contradictions between one Gospel and another, many dubious statements of history, many suspicious resemblances to the legends told of pagan gods, many incidents apparently designed to prove the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, many passages possibly aiming to establish a historical basis for some later doctrine or ritual of the Church.”[11]

Purely by way of illustration, let us see what Gospels say on most elementary details about Jesus.

(a) Genealogy of Jesus: Two of the four Gospels – Matthew and Luke – give the genealogy of Jesus. Matthew lists the supposed ancestors from Abraham onwards (1.1-16). Luke traces Jesus’ supposed ancestors all the way to Adam and thence to God. Abraham, of course, figures in his list, too. When we compare the two lists, we find that in Matthew there are 39 generations between Abraham and Jesus. In Luke there are 55 generations between Abraham and Jesus. Matthew lists 27 generations between David and Jesus, Luke lists 42. Of the 26 names that occur between David and Jesus in Matthew, only four occur in Luke – and three others with similar spellings. And even among these few names, the order differs. And yet both the lists, as they occur in the Gospels, emanate from God and must be true.

(b) Year of Birth: Then again, in which year was Jesus born? “Jesus was born … during the time when Herod was king,” says Matthew (2.1). Now Herod died in 3 BC. That would place birth of Jesus in 4 BC or 3 BC at the latest. “It was the fifteenth year of the rule of Emperor Tiberius; Pontius Pilate was the Governor of Judea, Herod was the ruler of Galilee and his brother Philip was….” says Luke (3.1-3) These verses put the date of Jesus’ birth to 2 or 1 BC. The same Gospel also tells us that “at that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When this first census took place, Quirinius was the Governor was Syria….” (Luke 2.1-3). Now, a census did take place when Quirinius was Governor of Syria. But that happened in 6 or 7 AD. But all these dates – 4 or 3 BC, 2 or 1 BC or 6 or 7 AD – must be taken as having God as their authors since they occur in the Gospels.

Look at the basic contradiction in the twin claims about Jesus being the descendant of David, and also being born of a virgin mother. If Jesus was born of a virgin, if Joseph had nothing to do with his being conceived then how can his descent be traced through Joseph to David?

Such contradictions and discrepancies mark every stage, every event in the life of Jesus: the place of his birth, the date of his birth, his ministry, his miracles, his trial, his crucifixion and resurrection. It is neither possible nor necessary to list all of them here.

Arun ShourieBiblical scholars have compiled them with great diligence. The findings and conclusions of their research are available to anyone with relatively small effort. Among others, for example, Arun Shourie has documented them in great detail in his Harvesting Our Souls: Missionaries, Their Design, their claims (ASA Publications, New Delhi, 2000). Small wonder that no responsible theologian or historian is now prepared to construct the life-story of Jesus from material provided by the gospels.

“But that is the whole point. You are nit-picking, going on and on about the discrepancies among the accounts of an event in different gospels. The details of Gospels are not what is important. What matters is the figure of faith that they weave,” the missionaries would say.

Although this is a somersault from tall claims about a solid figure of history as opposed to mythological mumbo-jumbo, we would let it pass. There is no doubt that millions of Christians through the ages have derived solace and guidance from the Gospels.

The Hindu response to this argument would be: if faith is what is important, what is the reason to prefer Jesus over, say, Ram or Krishna? As figures of faith they too have sustained millions upon millions of people for far longer than Jesus. Moreover, they have done so without the help of the highly aggressive, well-oiled and well-heeled machinery of the church. What is the need for conversion if one figure of faith is to be replaced with another? 

Acknowledgments

  1. History of Hindu-Christian Encounters: AD 304 to 1996, by Sita Ram Goel, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1996
  2. Missionaries in India, Arun Shourie, ASA Publications, New Delhi, 1994
  3. Hindu View of Christianity and Islam, Ram Swarup, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1992
  4. Jesus Christ: Artifice for Aggression, Sita Ram Goel, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1994
  5. Profiles in Deception: Ayodhya and Dead Sea Scrolls, N. S. Rajaram, Voice of India, New Delhi 2000

References

  1. The Quest for the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer, English translation London 1910 reprint 1945 p. 397
  2. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon Modern Library edition p. 442
  3. An Analysis of Christian Origins, Georges Ory, London, 1961, pp. 33 and fn 38
  4. Jesus: The Evidence, Ian Wilson, Pan Books 1985, p. 51
  5. A History of Christianity, Paul Johnson, Penguin Books, London, 1978, pp. 26-27
  6. Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression, Sita Ram Goel, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1994, First Reprint 2001, p. 5
  7. The New Testament Background, ed. C. K. Barret p. 277
  8. Did Jesus Exist?G.A. Wells,  1986, p.12 with reference to J. Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, London, 1925, and M. Goldstein, Jesus in the Jewish Tradition, New York, 1950, as quoted by Sita Ram Goel in Jesus: An Artifice for Aggression, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1994, p. 4
  9. An Analysis of Christian Origins, Georges Ory, London, 1961, p. 39
  10. Jesus: The Evidence, Ian Wilson, Pan Books, 1985, p. 30
  11. The Story of Civilisation, Part III, Caesar and Christ, Will Durant, Fourth Printing, New York, pp. 556-57

» Virendra Parekh  is Executive Editor, Corporate India, and lives in Mumbai. 

Joseph & Mary

This sign board was put up in 2009 by St Matthew-in-the-City Church, Auckland, New Zealand. The archdeacon explained that it was intended to provoke conversation among Christians about the nativity of Jesus at Christmas.

Jesus in Japan: The little-known legend – Franz Lidz

Jesus in Japan

Franz Lidz“In ancient times … villagers maintained traditions alien to the rest of Japan. Men wore clothes that resembled the toga-like robes of biblical Palestine, women wore veils, and babies were toted around in woven baskets like those in the Holy Land. Not only were newborns swaddled in clothes embroidered with a design that resembled a Star of David, but, as a talisman, their foreheads were marked with charcoal crosses.” – Franz Lidz

To the Tomb of Christ at Shingo, JapanOn the flat top of a steep hill in a distant corner of northern Japan lies the tomb of an itinerant shepherd who, two millennia ago, settled down there to grow garlic. He fell in love with a farmer’s daughter named Miyuko, fathered three kids and died at the ripe old age of 106. In the mountain hamlet of Shingo, he’s remembered by the name Daitenku Taro Jurai. The rest of the world knows him as Jesus Christ.

It turns out that Jesus of Nazareth—the Messiah, worker of miracles and spiritual figurehead for one of the world’s foremost religions—did not die on the cross at Calvary, as widely reported. According to amusing local folklore, that was his kid brother, Isukiri, whose severed ear was interred in an adjacent burial mound in Japan.

A bucolic backwater with only one Christian resident (Toshiko Sato, who was 77 when I visited last spring) and no church within 30 miles, Shingo nevertheless bills itself as Kirisuto no Sato (Christ’s Hometown). Every year 20,000 or so pilgrims and pagans visit the site, which is maintained by a nearby yogurt factory. Some visitors shell out the 100-yen entrance fee at the Legend of Christ Museum, a trove of religious relics that sells everything from Jesus coasters to coffee mugs. Some participate in the springtime Christ Festival, a mashup of multi-denominational rites in which kimono-clad women dance around the twin graves and chant a three-line litany in an unknown language. The ceremony, designed to console the spirit of Jesus, has been staged by the local tourism bureau since 1964.

The Japanese are mostly Buddhist or Shintoist, and, in a nation of 127.8 million, about 1 percent identify themselves as Christian. The country harbors a large floating population of folk religionists enchanted by the mysterious, the uncanny and the counterintuitive. “They find spiritual fulfillment in being eclectic,” says Richard Fox Young, a professor of religious history at the Princeton Theological Seminary. “That is, you can have it all: A feeling of closeness—to Jesus and Buddha and many, many other divine figures—without any of the obligations that come from a more singular religious orientation.”

Grave of Jesus in Shingo, JapanIn Shingo, the Greatest Story Ever Told is retold like this: Jesus first came to Japan at the age of 21 to study theology. This was during his so-called “lost years,” a 12-year gap unaccounted for in the New Testament. He landed at the west coast port of Amanohashidate, a spit of land that juts across Miyazu Bay, and became a disciple of a great master near Mount Fuji, learning the Japanese language and Eastern culture. At 33, he returned to Judea—by way of Morocco!—to talk up what a museum brochure calls the “sacred land” he had just visited.

Having run afoul of the Roman authorities, Jesus was arrested and condemned to crucifixion for heresy. But he cheated the executioners by trading places with the unsung, if not unremembered, Isukiri. To escape persecution, Jesus fled back to the promised land of Japan with two keepsakes: one of his sibling’s ears and a lock of the Virgin Mary’s hair. He trekked across the frozen wilderness of Siberia to Alaska, a journey of four years, 6,000 miles and innumerable privations. This alternative Second Coming ended after he sailed to Hachinohe, an ox-cart ride from Shingo.

Upon reaching the village, Jesus retired to a life in exile, adopted a new identity and raised a family. He is said to have lived out his natural life ministering to the needy. He sported a balding gray pate, a coat of many folds and a distinctive nose, which, the museum brochure observes, earned him a reputation as a “long-nosed goblin.”

When Jesus died, his body was left exposed on a hilltop for four years. In keeping with the customs of the time, his bones were then bundled and buried in a grave—the same mound of earth that is now topped by a timber cross and surrounded by a picket fence. Though the Japanese Jesus performed no miracles, one could be forgiven for wondering whether he ever turned water into sake.

Japanese image of JesusThis all sounds more Life of Brian than Life of Jesus. Still, the case for the Shingo Savior is argued vigorously in the museum and enlivened by folklore. In ancient times, it’s believed, villagers maintained traditions alien to the rest of Japan. Men wore clothes that resembled the toga-like robes of biblical Palestine, women wore veils, and babies were toted around in woven baskets like those in the Holy Land. Not only were newborns swaddled in clothes embroidered with a design that resembled a Star of David, but, as a talisman, their foreheads were marked with charcoal crosses.

The museum contends that the local dialect contains words like aba or gaga (mother) and aya or dada (father) that are closer to Hebrew than Japanese, and that the old village name, Heraimura, can be traced to an early Middle Eastern diaspora. Religious scholar Arimasa Kubo, a retired Tokyo pastor, thinks Shingo may have been settled by “descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel.”

As if to fuel this unlikely explanation, in 2004, Israeli ambassador Eli Cohen visited the tombs and dedicated a plaque, in Hebrew, to honor the ties between Shingo and the city of Jerusalem. Embassy spokesman Gil Haskel explained that while Hebrew tribes could have migrated to Japan, the marker was merely “a symbol of friendship rather than an endorsement of the Jesus claims.”

Another theory raises the possibility that the tombs hold the bodies of 16th-century missionaries. Christian evangelists first came to Japan in 1549, but bitter infighting for influence and Japanese converts led to a nationwide ban on the religion in 1614.

Jesus's own will and testament! It is signed "Jesus Christ, father of Christmas."Believers went underground, and these Hidden Christians, as they are called, encountered ferocious persecution. To root them out, officials administered loyalty tests in which priests and other practitioners were required to trample a cross or an image of the Madonna and the baby Jesus. Those who refused to denounce their beliefs were crucified, beheaded, burned at the stake, tortured to death or hanged upside-down over cesspools to intensify their suffering. For more than 200 years, until an isolated Japan opened its doors to the West in 1868, Christianity survived in scattered communities, which perhaps explains why Shingo’s so-called Christian traditions are not practiced in the rest of the region.

The key to Shingo’s Christ cult lies in a scroll purported to be Christ’s last will and testament, dictated as he was dying in the village. A team of what a museum pamphlet calls “archeologists from an international society for the research of ancient literature” discovered the scripture in 1936. That manuscript, along with others allegedly unearthed by a Shinto priest around the same time, flesh out Christ’s further adventures between Judea and Japan, and pinpoint Shingo as his final resting place. (As luck would have it, the graves of Adam and Eve were just 15 miles west of town.)

Curiously, these documents were destroyed during World War II, the museum says, allowing it to house only modern transcriptions—signed “Jesus Christ, father of Christmas”—inside a glass case. Even more curiously, Jesus lived during Japan’s Yayoi period, a time of rudimentary civilization with no written language.

Junichiro Sawaguchi, the eldest member of the Shingo family regarded as Christ’s direct descendants.The original scrolls were brought to Shingo by an Eastern magi that included the Shinto priest, a historian and a charismatic Christian missionary who preached that the Japanese emperor was the Jewish Messiah. They were joined by Shingo Mayor Denjiro Sasaki, a publicity hound eager to make the town a tourist destination. Sasaki led them through a valley of rice fields and up a slope to a bamboo thicket that concealed the burial mounds. For generations, the land had been owned by the garlic-farming Sawaguchis.

One of the clan, a youth named Sanjiro, was renowned for his blue eyes, something seldom seen in Japan and, as nationalist historian Banzan Toya insisted, proof that the Sawaguchis were progeny of Jesus and Miyuko, who, to complicate matters even more, is variously known as Yumiko, Miyo and Mariko. Among the magi’s other extravagant finds were seven ancient pyramids, all of which were said to predate the ones built by the Egyptians and the Mayans by tens of thousands of years. The heap of rocks generously dubbed the Big Stone God Pyramid is just down the road from the Christ tomb. Miraculously, the historian and the priest stumbled upon the rubble a day after they stumbled upon the graves. A sign beside this Shinto sanctuary explains that the pyramid collapsed during a 19th-century earthquake.

Shinto is a religion of nature, and during the imperialist fervor that gripped Japan before World War II, its message of Japanese uniqueness was exploited to bolster national unity. “Religious organizations could only operate freely if they had government recognition,” says Richard Fox Young.

Out of this constraint came “State Shinto”—the use of the faith, with its shrines and deities, for propaganda, emperor worship and the celebration of patriotism. Considerable resources were funneled into attempts to prove the country’s superiority over other races and cultures. Which sheds celestial light on the discovery of Moses’ tomb at Mount Houdatsu in Ishikawa Prefecture. Press accounts of the period detailed how the prophet had received the Hebrew language, the Ten Commandments and the first Star of David directly from Japan’s divine emperor.

Santa on the cross in Tokyo.Such divine condescension implies that Shingo’s Christ cult has very little to do with Christianity. “On the contrary,” says Young. “It’s more about Japanese folk religion and its sponginess—its capacity for soaking up any and all influences, usually without coherence, even internally.”

That sponginess is never more evident than during Yuletide, a season that, stripped of Christian significance, has taken on a meaning all its own. It’s said that a Japanese department store once innocently displayed Santa Claus nailed to a crucifix. Apocryphal or not, the story has cultural resonance.

Shingo is modestly festive with frosted pine trees and sparkling lights, glittering streamers and green-and-red wreaths, candles and crèches. In Japan, Christmas Eve is a kind of date night in which many young people ignore the chaste example of Mary—and instead lose their virginity. “It’s the most romantic holiday in Japan, surpassing Valentine’s Day,” says Chris Carlsen, an Oregon native who teaches English in town. “On Christmas Day, everyone goes back to work and all the ornaments are taken down.”

Junichiro Sawaguchi, the eldest member of the Shingo family regarded as Christ’s direct descendants, celebrates the holiday much like the average Japanese citizen, in a secular way involving decorations and Kentucky Fried Chicken. A City Hall bureaucrat, he has never been to a church nor read the Bible. “I’m Buddhist,” he says.

Asked if he believes the Jesus-in-Japan yarn, Sawaguchi shakes his head and says, coyly, “I don’t know.” Then again, notes Carlsen, the Japanese tend to be quite tactful when airing their opinions, particularly on contentious topics. “The Christ tomb has given Shingo a sense of identity,” he says. “If a central figure like Mr. Sawaguchi were to dismiss the story, he might feel disloyal to the town.”

But does Sawaguchi think it’s possible that Jesus was his kinsfolk? Momentarily silent, he shrugs and spreads his palms outward, as if to say, Don’t take everything you hear as gospel. – SmithsonianJanuary 2013

» Franz Lidz a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, a contributing editor at Conde Nast Portfolio, and is a correspondent for Smithsonian, Slate, WSJ, GQSports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer, Men’s Journal, AARP the Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, Golf Digest and has written for the New York Times since 1983, on travel, TV, film and theater.

How Christianity was used to enslave Europe – Joseph Atwill

Joseph AtwillAbout Joseph Atwill: While studying the two most prominent works of the 1st century – Josephus’ Wars of the Jews and the GospelsJoseph Atwill noticed a series of parallels occurring in sequence between the military campaign of the Roman Caesar Titus Flavius and the ministry of Jesus. His findings led him to a startling new conclusion about the origins of Christianity – that a Roman imperial family, the Flavians, had created Christianity to pacify the Jews’ rebellion against Rome, and even more incredibly, they had placed a literary satire within the Gospels and Wars of the Jews to inform posterity of this fact.

The results of Atwill’s research are set out in his book Caesar’s Messiah. The second edition of Caesar’s Messiah became the best-selling work of religious history in the US in 2007, and its German translation Das Messias Ratsel achieved #1 Best Seller status. The Flavian Signature edition of Caesar’s Messiah adds the most detailed presentation of the parallels Atwill discovered between the works of Josephus and the Book of Luke. His upcoming book, The Single Strand, is slated to be published by Ulstein, and a documentary film based on Caesar’s Messiah was released in 2011 [see video below]. Atwill is an avid chess player, having more than 100 victories over Grandmasters and International Masters, and holding an ICC Masters rating of 2358. — Excerpted from Joseph Atwill’s Blog

Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne.How Christianity Was Used to Enslave Europe

When I speak with Christians, many describe the spiritual growth their relationship with Jesus has given them. I know they are sincere but I always wonder how they would feel about Jesus if they were forced to take an Oath of Fealty to his earthly representative.

A 7th century Anglo-Saxon “Oath of Fealty” between a serf and his lord still exists. It states: “By the Lord before whom this sanctuary is holy, I will be true and faithful, and love all which he loves and shun all which he shuns, according to the laws of God and the order of the world. Nor will I ever with will or action, through word or deed, do anything which is unpleasing to him, on condition that he will hold to me as I shall deserve it, and that he will perform everything as it was in our agreement when I submitted myself to him and chose his will.”

Pope Sylvester & Emperor Constantine: In fact Constantine carried the title of Pontifex Maximus, not Sylvester who was mere Bishop of Rome. Christianity may be considered a religion, but it was actually developed and used as a system of mind control to produce slaves that believe God decreed their slavery. From their position as the “Pontifex Maximus” – the official title for Caesar’s position as head of the pagan college of Roman priests – the Pontiffs of the Roman Catholic Church oversaw the feudal system wherein Christianized serfs gave their work product to the authorities without complaint. Their docility was caused by the fact that they were Christians and therefore believed the Apostle Paul when he wrote: “slaves should be obedient to their masters in everything”. (Titus, 2)

Though serfs were indeed slaves – the word “serf” can be traced back to the Latin word servus, meaning “slave” – the group that became serfs did not start out as slaves and were originally called coloni (sing. colonus), a Latin word meaning a farmer who farmed his own land. (One interesting etymological point is that the word “colonized” was first used to depict a colonus changing wild land into farm land.)

When Rome was a Republic the coloni had numerous rights including the ability to sell their land, but these freedoms steadily eroded during the imperial era. Around 300 CE the Caesar Diocletian implemented a tax that unified a plot of land with its inhabitants. It thereby became more difficult for coloni to sell their plots.

Chi Rho: Monogram of ChristIn 306 CE, upon the death of his father Constantius, Constantine became co-Emperor with his brother-in-law Maxentius. The two were bitter rivals however, and war soon broke out. Before the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE, Constantine had his famous but absurd vision in which Christ purportedly instructed him to place a particular sign on the battle standards of his army. This symbol was called the Chi Rho (the Chi Rho superimposed the first two letters of the Greek word “ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ” or Christ in such a way to produce a monogram that invoked the crucifixion of Jesus) and was described by Eusebius as “a long spear, overlaid with gold, which included a bar crossing the spear to form the shape of the Christian cross. On the top of the whole was fixed a wreath of gold and precious stones, and within this the symbol of the Savior’s name, two letters indicating the name of Christ by means of the initial letters, the letter X intersection P at the center.” Included with the banner were the words: “In hoc signo vinces” (in this sign thou shalt conquer).

"Saint" Constantine the Great: One of history's most wicked men!Armed with the “power of Jesus”, Constantine defeated his rival and became dictator. His reign is best remembered for the Edict of Milan in 313, which fully legalized Christianity, and the Council of Nicea, which he chaired in 325, that began the era where the religion enjoyed the power of the Roman state.

Because of his assistance in making Christianity the state religion, Constantine enjoys a positive historical legacy. In fact he was among the most wicked men in history [emphasis ours]. What has been overlooked by historians is that his efforts on behalf of Christianity were just one half of his legal “reforms” and when one half is juxtaposed to the other an entirely different picture emerges. Constantine used Christianity to make the enslavement of most of the European population acceptable to the victims because it was an act of God.

Constantine’s other edicts were the true beginning of medieval serfdom. They officially ended the coloni’s ability to sell their land but bound them to it forever. Another set of edicts forbade the lower classes from changing profession. Constantine thereby froze an unfair society into place. And to prevent any intellectual resistance from the newly created slaves, Constantine also began the process that made Christianity the state religion. When viewed in their true historical context, it is self-evident that the sole purpose for the specific combination of Constantine’s edicts was to enslave serfs and make rebellion a sin.

Below is the order of rank that Constantine’s edicts created – the Feudal System :

The Pope
The King
Bishops
Nobles
Knights / Vassals
Priests
Freemen
Yeomen
Servants
Serfs

Reeve & SerfsEventually the degradation of the coloni’s legal status to serf was formalized with the creation of a ceremony known as “bondage”. During the ceremony a serf placed his head in the lord’s hands – akin to the ceremony where a vassal placed his hands between those of his overlord. The serf would then swear oaths that bound him to his lord in a feudal contract which defined the terms of his slavery. Thus, the Oath of Fealty, which still exists to this day, producing an attitude of servitude in those who willingly submit to the authority structure. – Joseph Atwill’s Blog, 24 October 2013


Castration in progress.An Aside: How Saul became Paul – Joseph Atwill

My upcoming work The Single Strand explains the mysterious NT character ‘Paul’. The first mystery concerning Paul is why did the author of Acts change his name from ‘Saul’ to ‘Paul’, a word that means ‘tiny’. The truth behind Saul’s nickname is vicious humor that makes fun of the fact that Paul was not merely circumcised but castrated. The story of Paul’s castration is black comedy and is given in Acts 13 1-9.

Prior to the scene in Acts 13 Saul/Paul had attacked a member of the ‘way’ – Stephan – who has been preaching for ‘Jesus’, in other words, Stephan had been preaching for the Flavian Christ. Following this event Saul shows up in Antioch with a group that includes a ‘stepbrother’ of Herod. Then the ‘Holy Spirit’, for some reason, orders Saul ‘separated’ – the Greek word used can also mean ‘severed’ – and the group then “placed their hands on him” – the word used for “placed” can also mean ‘attack’. Following the event Saul becomes ‘Paul’, a word that means ‘tiny’. In other words, Paul has been ‘severed’ – or castrated – by the group led by Herod’s ‘stepbrother’ as revenge for his participation in the attack on a member of the ‘Way’ – the Caesars’ version of Judaism. This was how Saul became ‘Tiny’.

David delivering 200 Gentile foreskins to King Saul.To digress, this analysis shows not only the reason why the Romans named the character ‘Paul’, but why they gave him his original name of ‘Saul’. Saul was the Jewish king that had demanded David obtain ‘a hundred Gentile foreskins’ and the Romans named their character ‘Saul’ to imply that his ‘circumcision’ involved – like the one ordered by his OT ‘forerunner’ – more than a single foreskin. The author of Acts ‘clarifies’ the relationship by actually mentioning the OT Saul in the passage where ‘Saul’ becomes ‘Tiny’ – Acts 13:21. The author also notes that the OT Saul’s reign had the space of forty years. This ‘foresees’ the forty years between the beginning of Paul’s ‘ministry’ at approximately 40 CE and the start of Domitian’s reign in 81 CE – a roughly forty-year cycle parallel to the one which linked Jesus to Titus.

This analysis enables the real nature of ‘Paul’ to be understood. Paul begins as ‘Saul’, a messianic rebel fighting against the ‘Way’, which is the Flavians’ Christ cult, but has an epiphany and is ‘converted’ to belief in ‘Christ Jesus’, in other words he understands that Caesar is the Christ. – Joseph Atwill’s Blog, 9 April 2013

Video: Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy To Invent Jesus

  • Contact Joe Atwill by email at joeatwill@caesarsmessiah.com

What Reza Aslan actually says about Jesus – Stephen Prothero

Prof. Reza Aslan

Lauren GreenDr. Reza Aslan is an Iranian-American writer and scholar of religions. He is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, a Research Associate at the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, and a contributing editor for The Daily Beast. His books include the international bestseller No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into 13 languages, and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, which offers an interpretation of the life and mission of the historical Jesus.

On 26 July 2013, Aslan was interviewed on … a Fox News webcast by anchor Lauren Green about his book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Green was “unsatisfied with Aslan’s credentials,” and she pressed Aslan with a “but-why-would-a-Muslim-write-about-Jesus line of questioning.” The interview lasted about ten minutes and focused “on Aslan’s background more than the actual contents of the book.”

In the end, Green claimed that “Aslan had somehow misled readers by not disclosing his religion”, whereupon he pointed out that his personal religious faith “is discussed on page two of his book.”

The video clip of the interview went viral within days and the book, which was up to that point selling “steadily”, appeared at the 4th place on the New York Times print hardcover best-seller list. By late July 2013, it was topping the U.S. best-seller list of Amazon. – Wikipedia, 6 August 2013


Stephen ProtheroWhat Reza Aslan actually says about Jesus – Stephen Prothero

As you might have heard, Lauren Green at Fox didn’t do a very good job interviewing Reza Aslan on his new book about the historical Jesus.

Instead of asking him about “Zealot,” she asked him why, as a Muslim, he would presume to write a book about Jesus. He responded by citing (and re-citing) his academic credentials.

The interview went viral, and Aslan went to No. 1 on Amazon.com (ahead of J. K. Rowling).

But what does the book actually say? Here are seven of Aslan’s key arguments in “Zealot”:

1. Jesus was a violent revolutionary

Many scholars have argued that Jesus was a political figure. After all, he was crucified by Rome, and crucifixion was at the time a punishment for political offenses. But these scholars often claim, as John Dominic Crossan did in “Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography,” that Jesus was a nonviolent revolutionary.

Aslan portrays Jesus as a man of war who worshiped the “blood-spattered God of Abraham, and Moses, and Jacob, and Joshua” and who knew full well that “God’s sovereignty could not be established except through force.”

2. Jesus’ kingdom was worldly

In the Gospel of John, Jesus famously says, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Aslan begs to differ. Jesus’ kingdom was neither purely nor predominantly spiritual. He preached “a physical and present kingdom: a real kingdom, with an actual king that was about to be established on earth.”

3. Jesus revolted against Roman and Jewish authorities

Jesus didn’t just take on Rome. He took on Jewish authorities, in particular those who ran the Jerusalem Temple.

“There can be no doubt,” writes Aslan, “that Jesus’s main antagonist in the gospels is neither the distant emperor in Rome nor his heathen officials in Judea. It is the high priest Caiaphas, who will become the main instigator of the plot to execute Jesus precisely because of the threat he posed to the Temple’s authority.”

4. Palm Sunday is the key moment in the Jesus story

Every Jesus biographer has a key moment in the life of Jesus when his essence is revealed. For Aslan, that moment comes when Jesus mounts a donkey and rides into Jerusalem.

In this celebration, commemorated in the Christian world every year on Palm Sunday, Jesus is not demonstrating his humility. Instead, he is announcing his kingship.

The “unmistakeable” message of this scene, according to Aslan, is that “the long-awaited messiah — the true King of the Jews — has come to free Israel from its bondage.”

5. The early church turned Jesus into a pacifist preaching a spiritual kingdom

In 66-73 CE, a bloody Jewish revolt against Rome left Jerusalem in ruins and chastened the early Christians, who reinvented Jesus as an apolitical figure in order to make nice with Rome.

Those who wrote of Jesus in this way (Paul included) never met the man, and, in Aslan’s view, they badly mischaracterized him, turning “their messiah from a fierce Jewish nationalist into a pacifistic preacher of good works whose kingdom was not of this world.”

6. The idea that Jesus was God also originated with the early church

As a Jew, Aslan observes, Jesus would have rebelled against any notion that God is incarnated in human flesh.

Therefore, the elevation of Jesus to divinity must have come after his crucifixion, at the hands of Greek-speaking Jewish Christians who “transformed Jesus from a revolutionary zealot to a Romanized demigod.” *

* [Jesus was raised from the position of mortal prophet to that of immortal God by an ecclesiastical vote of 218 for, 2 against diefication at the Council of Nicea called by Emperor Constantine in 325 CE. The bishops who said nay were from Libya and were soon assassinated. Constantine then sanctioned the confiscation and destruction of all works that challenged "orthodox" Christian teaching. Five years later he commissioned and financed new editions of the Bible, and as there were no longer any original documents to work from---Emperor Diocletian had destroyed most Christian writings in 303 CE---the bishops, intent on promoting the Pauline salvation cult in their own interest, were free to revise, edit, and rewrite the Bible in accordance with their own tenets. -- IS]

7.  The Bible isn’t to be believed (as history)

In “Zealot,” Aslan repeatedly refers to passages in the New Testament as “preposterous,” “fanciful,” “obviously contrived,” “riddled with the most basic errors,” “simply ridiculous,” and “absurd to the point of comedy.”

Here the Bible is a source for data about Jesus’s life, but that data must be carefully sifted through a scholarly lens, and in particular through the socioeconomic realities of life in the ancient Mediterranean at the time of Jesus.

At least as Aslan sees it, Jesus probably didn’t tell his followers to turn the other cheek. He probably did say, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but the sword” (Matthew 10:34). – CNN Belief Blog, 31 July 2013

Angry Jesus drives the vendors out of the temple. According to Dr. Aslan, this is a key moment in the life of zealot Jesus.

Jesus driving the merchants and money changers from the Temple in Jerusalem: According to Dr. Aslan, this event in the life of Jesus the Zealot reveals his true nature as a violent revolutionary.

Satan worship gains popularity among Christian youth in Nagaland – Religion News Service

Jesus & SatanChristian groups in India’s north-eastern state of Nagaland are working to quell the rapid growth of Satanism after reports that thousands of teenagers from churches had taken up devil worship in recent months. The Vatican’s Fides news agency recently reported that more than 3,000 young “worshippers of Satan” have been identified in Nagaland’s capital of Kohima alone.

The actual strength of Satan worshippers is difficult to determine, but such groups also exist in Nagaland’s largest city of Dimapur, and they are using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to expand their network, said the Rev. Wati Longkumer, director of the Nagaland Missionary Movement, a group of mostly Baptist associations and churches.

Longkumer said he has seen membership forms for a group calling itself the Black Bulls and inviting youngsters to become part of devil worship. Longkumer’s organization, part of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, which consists of more than 1,300 churches, has assigned its youth department to conduct a detailed report. More than 90 percent of Nagaland’s 2 million residents are Christians, and about three-fourths of those identify as Baptist.

The Rev. Ben Dang Toshi Longkumer, a Nagaland-based representative of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (no relation to Wati Longkumer), said “Satan worship has considerably changed the demeanor and the worldview of the youth, though no criminal activity by them has been reported thus far.”

The Rev. Zotuo Kiewhuo, senior pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church in Kohima, said the cult is spreading like “wildfire” due to an identity crisis among the youth of the state plagued with corruption, insurgencies and intertribal conflicts. – Religion News Service, 11 July 2013

Christian priests offering ritual kiss to Satan

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