Section 5 .. Other Beliefs/
World Religions/Buddhism

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For centuries, the dominant religion of the Eastern world, but now making vast inroads into the West.

Buddhism.. History and Overview
It is quite clear that Christianity and Buddhism differ from one another in fundamental ways. Some sects of Buddhism have tried to synchronize the two together. However, the two are so different, they cannot both be right at the same time, nor can the two be blended together.

America Smiles on The Buddha
 With about 400 million followers worldwide, Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world.The cover story of the October 31, 1997 issue of Time magazine was titled "American’s Fascination with Buddhism."  It noted that Buddhism was now growing "ever stronger roots" in America and the West and pointed out that American entertainment had "become fascinated with Buddhism." Amazon.com sells hundreds of books on Buddhism. According to Pew Research, the number of Buddhists in North America is expected to increase from almost 4 million in 2010 to 6.1 million by 2050. Indiana now boasts 14 Buddhist temples (five in Indianapolis, four in Bloomington, three in Fort Wayne, one in Anderson, and one in Hoagland) two built in in the last five or so years. The fourteenth -Tu Vien Hanh Phúc took over the Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Anderson. 

 Unlike Christianity and other monotheistic and polytheistic religions, Buddhism does not worship a deity but is centered around various teachings and philosophical beliefs. The goal of the religion is "enlightenment".inasmuch as they believe that human life is a cycle of suffering and rebirth, but if one achieves a state of enlightenment (nirvana), it is possible to escape this cycle forever.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
A noted public speaker worldwide, Tenzin Gyatso, who considers himself half-Marxist, half-Buddhist, is often described as charismatic. He is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West (undertaking a series of tours of 46 nations since 1967) where he seeks to spread Buddhist teachings and to promote ethics and interfaith harmony. He has met with religious leaders and heads of state from innumerable countries and been bestowed with many honours including the Nobel Peace Prize.

He certainly has wide appeal to the man on the street.. Everyone seems caught up in the spell, and one can certainly see why.. He comes across as extremely tolerant and compassionate, A man of peace and a human rights activist. He relates passages relevant to his message from the Sermon on the Mount.  Besides his constant message of peace and interfaith co-operation, the almost always smiling Dalai Lama has a very appealing side and a legendary sense of humour. So what’s not to love?

However, a few voices have been raised which question the popular image of this ‘man of peace’. One of the issues raised is in regard to a couple of the Dalai Lama’s very questionable human connections, However, while these matters do little but make him quite a hypocrite, it is the second issue.. his belief in the Maitreya and his and teaching of the Kalachakra-Tantra that concern us here.


Comparing Jesus With Other Religious Leaders... Why Jesus Is Without Equal
The claim to authority made by the founders of most religions, is generally based on visions they claim to have had, and/or their own experiences or wisdom. However, since anyone can claim to be divine, be divinely inspired, or have mystical visions or experiences, all of these religions stand or fall on something which no one can prove or disprove. All we have to go on is what the founder of the religion said (blind faith), and whether the teachings seem to work in our own lives. Good Enough? It shouldn’t be

The Answer To Death... What "Solace and Hope" Do The Different Religions Offer Us
The Heaven Jesus was sent to tell us about is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there' but a a literal, earthly kingdom ... a place of peace and safety, where there is no crime, hunger and disease, war and above all... no death. In fact, Christianity promises exactly the utopian world most men and women dream of. Unless, of course, your idea of paradise is "an ineffable transcendental state" (whatever that means).

 Faith and The Bible
Whether you are aware of it or not, faith plays a huge part in many, if not most religions of the world. However, faith can mean two different things. It can mean reasonable trust based on evidence. On the other hand, faith can also mean trust or belief without evidence, or contrary to evidence. Christianity is perhaps the only religion that does not demand 'blind faith' from it's followers.


Index To Other Religions