8 Religions I’ve known. What did I choose? Part II.

Here is part 2. Let’s get into it:

5. Catholic Church

My first encounter with the Catholic Church did not happen in Europe, as one might presume.

I was in South Korea, Seoul at the time. It was one the most difficult periods of my life. There were days and nights when I would walk around aimlessly for hours not knowing where I am or what was I looking for. But I was looking for something.

On Sundays  I would see Korean families going to church.

Their churches were somehow perfect. The families looked perfect. Perfect silence, perfect arrangement, perfect men, women and children carrying perfect fruit offerings. They would enter in that perfect togetherness inside perfect churches.

They looked perfect from where I was.

church
Church in Seoul

I never got inside. I felt that there was no place for my pain in there. Everything was too perfect.

Some statistics here as well:

– the absolute majority of South Koreans (56.9% as of 2015) have no formal membership in a religious organisation;

-among those who are members of a religious organisation, there is a dominance of Protestantism, Buddhism, and Roman Catholicism.

-According to the national census conducted in 2015, 19.7% of the population belongs to Protestantism, 15.5% to Buddhism (Korean Buddhism), and 7.9% to the Roman Catholic Church;

-in total, Christianity is the religion of 27.6% of the Korean population.

Why is Christianity so widespread in that part of the world is a topic for another time.

6.Islam 

It felt comforting to cover my head in a shawl and walk around on the streets, little quartier of little flat homes. The sky burning, ripe bananas filled the air with a rich almost heavy sent. I could walk so without having stones or strange looks thrown at me.

That was in Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia. That was in Singapore.

Kuala Lumpur, as far as I’ve experienced, is such a multicultural place. There was a Chinatown and a Indiantown inside the Town.  It doesn’t matter where you come from, there is a place for you there. Even more so if you are a white European male with money. But this is another topic.

I discovered a temple and entered.

It was not an Islamic place of prayer tough.

Hours must have passed before I got out. It was peaceful, I was absorbing peace, you could see it coming in my bloodstream. I stood there (sitted 🙂 ) watching people, coming and going. The sun was shining in such a gentle way. I watched the dust floating around.

f6bf81fd1533fed29fc56921e5693b79
Sun rays

An old, scrawny man was collecting the oranges everyone brought. He filled up sacks of oranges. The incense was making people calm. When I got out of there I was a different person.

Heading towards a nearby market I passed before a Hindu temple. The women were wearing their beautiful clothes. Everybody left their shoes outside. The air was filled with miraculous incense and light.  A kind of solemnity governed there. And I felt home.

Just in front of the temple there were two men selling flower garlands.

garlande1
Hindu flower garland seller

Some data:

-as of the 2010 Population and Housing Census, 61.3 percent of the population practices Islam;

-19.8 percent Buddhism;

-9.2 percent Christianity;

-6.3 percent Hinduism;

-and 1.3 percent traditional Chinese religions.

7. Atheism

I’ve seen  atheism at work in Czechia during the last year. This is not considered a religion, in fact it means the avoidance of a religion. But I put in the list since I see it as just a strong and fix position as the religions have.

Let me put it straight:  Czechia has one of the least religious populations in the world. I was there and I must say, I was not convinced. Those people are not atheists, they just can’t find something holy to believe in. They are confused because they are also very intelligent.

They have forgotten that the heart is the gate to peace. By opening your heart to what is in front of your eyes, bad and good, you remember that the world you see is a reflection of the heart and mind you have.

In Czechia I’ve seen the most homeless and drunk people, spread on the streets like breadcrumbs left by an evil kid. “Follow we”, he whispers. During rainy days, winter and wind they sleep in the bus stations or in the parc on cartons.

Alcohol is extremely accessible.

Drug consumers also enjoy a certain freedom. As far as I understood, is easy to get drugs. All in one, this place would be called hell on Earth by others, but by many others, it is the exact opposite, it is their heaven. A place of such freedom that you can kill yourself in peace.

I learned to like being there only because I know that God exists. God is in the heart. Not many people talk about their hearts in Czechia.

I’ve seen a woman, drunk, almost cracking her skull open on the train line. She was so gone that she lost her equilibrium and bam! The man accompanying her was not sober as well but he managed to pull her back. We were at a tram station.

There were people all around, young and old, heading to parties.

Nobody payed attention.

8.Jehovah’s Witnesses 

We have met before, I thought, as soon as I saw them coming towards me, handing me one of their flyers. I’ve met these people in Chisinau as well, the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Looking at them, the way they move, talk and look at you, I understand why the public has a strong repulsion towards them. They can be quite insistent as well. Their perfect appearance resemblance, in my mind, the perfectness of the koreans. And their apparently coldness. Who the hell is going to listen to them if they are so insistent and launching punishing looks.

Since I’ve arrived in Italy I made a collection of the flyers they gave me.

I do not avoid  them as a way of respect for them and for me. I see their intention, the original one, to save the world, I see that as acceptable and important. The way they do it is not. I believe that a more effective way is connecting people, all of them, no matter the differences. Any differences. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only by following their rules the world can be saved.

If you think a little longer…saved from what? Aren’t we the world? Are we supposed to save ourselves from ourselves by building barricades and repeating mantras or should we have the guts to live the human life courageously and sincerely? I mean, all the answers are here!

So, let me present my collection and my answers (hihi). I’ve been collecting them for a few weeks now.

As soon as I go outside, hop! tre is someone to my rescue.

They are raising important questions, I must admit, but  immediately after, they are  feeding you a bible phrase and that is supposed to make everything clear. I would be more interested in hearing their own opinions. I do understand their position, that as simple bodies  we worth nothing, only believing in the possibility of our holiness, our souls being part of God’s soul, only then can we do anything worth mentioning.

  • What is the secret for a happy family? – Understanding, forgiving and a lot of humour!
  • How do you see the future? – I don’t see it, but I feel that it could be fine if I continue listening to my heart. It might not be fine. It depends on me.
  • When will the suffering stop? – When we will start forgiving.
  • Is Jesus in your boat?Well, I don’t have a boat, that’s one thing and then, Jesus  is a funny guy, he can walk on water! He doesn’t need a boat. Just kidding! I understand what you mean and yes, we are in the same boat.
  • Who is really controlling the world? Yeah! that is the question. Who the hell is messing with our world? The world is containing good force and bad forces. Good is, according to me, that which makes one see, feel, understand, grow, be aware of. Bad is that which is belittling, depressing, discouraging, making people kill each other because of their own pain. The world is containing both of them. Remember the rope game? That is the world. 

    rope.jpg
    This is us!
  • How do you see the future?  Jesus, you are really fixated with this one. I really don’t know! Please believe me. I just know what is here now.What will be develops right now, out of that. So, if I may, I would suggest to concentrate on what your are thinking and doing each and every moment. That is how the future makes itself seen. But I do get your concern, I also sometimes feel this kind of angst.

That was my collection of JW questions to me 🙂 Somehow they did not show up after a while.

Now, I could not let them escape so easily.

I checked their site. They  respond to some questions.

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe That They Have the One True Religion? 

Those who are serious about religion should think that the one they’ve chosen is acceptable to God and Jesus. Otherwise, why would they be involved in it?

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they’ve found that road.

Otherwise, they’d look for another religion.  (Oh yeah!) 

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Trying to Earn Salvation by Their Door-to-Door Ministry?

We endeavor to share our faith with others, hoping that they will benefit from God’s promises. But we don’t believe that we earn our salvation by engaging in our ministry. (Romans 1:17; 3:28) 

Really, no human could ever do enough to merit such an astounding blessing from God. “He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done.”—(Titus 3:5 )   (This is so sad! ) 

Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Speak With People Who Have Previously Said “I’m Not Interested”?   (Good one! )

Jehovah’s Witnesses, motivated by love for God and love of neighbor, enjoy sharing the Bible’s message with all people, including those who have previously said “I’m not interested.”  (Give NO sayers a break! Give people on Earth a chance!) 

Let me end with some anchoring numbers:

facts
1 to 242 ! You are pretty tough Bible ninjas! Respect!

 

See you next time with my conclusion. What did I chose? 

From Victoria with

Love

 

 

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