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Indigenous faithful and Christians work with environmentalists to conserve India's sacred forests

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By DEEPA BHARATH

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Meghalaya is 75% Christian in a country that is almost 80% Hindu.

To be clear, the country as of last year is 72.4 percent Hindu. And 14.38 percent Muslim, while 4.81 percent is Christian.

We note in passing that this country has already seen several states who have passed anti-conversion laws designed to regulate religious conversions allegedly accomplished through forcible or fraudulent practices (another is proposing an re-conversion statute, ending prosecution if the person converts back AND the community accepts it). Punishable by imprisonment.

And has a nation-wide anti-blasphemy statute, outlawing the insulting of any religion or religious beliefs, if it intends to outrage a 'religious feelings.' Again, punishable by prison.

And another makes religion a criterion for granting or denying citizenship to migrants and refugees.

So, there are the guard rails. Just be careful out there, while helping to create healthy forests.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Skeptical

But most of that is aimed at Muslims who are often viewed as ethnically different from Non-Muslism.

As this article suggests the Christians tend to be viewed as being more ethnically Indian/Hindu. Its the same throughout South Asia, especially South India where there are more Christians than Muslims traditionally.

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“This forest is your mother.”

This planet is our mother.

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They have also been affected by the Indigenous population’s conversion to Christianity, which began in 19th century under British rule.

They viewed their new religion as the light and these rituals as darkness, as pagan or even evil.

Yet another damage that the British rule brought to India. The British think that they did some great favour to inferior races by colonizing the world, and the missionaries justified all the worse parts of colonialism by arguing that they were spreading the light in the darkness.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

But most of that is aimed at Muslims who are often viewed as ethnically different from Non-Muslism.

As this article suggests the Christians tend to be viewed as being more ethnically Indian/Hindu. Its the same throughout South Asia, especially South India where there are more Christians than Muslims traditionally.

Nowhere does the article suggest that. The Indigenous tribal communities of the North East were not Hindu either and their forest rituals had nothing to do with Hinduism. Many were converted to Christianity by the British and then some later adopted Hinduism but both are far removed from their Indigenous culture.

Besides, ask any NorthEast Indian if he has never been at the receiving end of racism in the Indian mainland and your half baked arguments will fall flat then and there.

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@EvilBuddha it discusses the similarities between the tribal religion followers and Christians, which mimics Christians in other parts of India. That is why you don't get severe controversy in areas with large Hindu-Christian populations because they are ethnically more similar.

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Also North East Indians are usually Christian or Hindu, and many of them are Islamophobic (as we see in Myanmar etc...). I know a lot myself.

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That is why you don't get severe controversy in areas with large Hindu-Christian populations because they are ethnically more similar.

No one trying to make serious arguments would call a NorthEast Indian ethnically similar to say, a South Indian or a North Indian.

You are confused between religion and ethnicity which are 2 different things.

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@EvilBuddha

North East Indians consider themselves to be Indian. That's how they fight racism.

Christian converts tend to be more ethnically similar to their surrounding ethnic group (usually Hindu but in this case tribal), whereas Muslims tend to be viewed as ethnically different.

There were traditionally more Christians in North East India and South India, and more Muslims in North West India. I'm pointing out regions where this phenomenon happens.

I'm pointing out that Christians tend to be more "Hindu" than Muslims. It's actually a phenomenon that's seen in Africa and the Far East too.

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People of goodwill worldwide are beginning to realize the importance of forests to the survival and well being of life on Planet Earth, our common home.

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