Are You a Christian?

https://youtu.be/OcDitnmLBYg

images

As I walked through the ancient windy streets of  Varanasi, at several places, I was able to stop, stretch out my arms and touch the sides of the buildings. I think you will believe it after seeing this picture !

The first time we were visiting this ancient, holy city was during the huge nearby Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad.  It is the largest gathering of religious pilgrims in the world.  The educated estimation of people attending  is 100, 000,000 souls!   Yes, one hundred million! At the end of the one and a half month Mela, many Hindu  pilgrims visiting from around the world would make a stop at the near by sacred city of Varanasi.  In 2013 we were in Varanasi during this time. There was absolutely no way tourists with passports or not, were allowed anywhere near this temple. Our bags were checked, our passports were checked and then we were told we had to leave them in  a shop with a guard! All this was done just to go near enough to see the top of the dome over a stone wall. 306308

As our guide lead us through the narrow streets, there were throngs of Indian people waiting to enter , pray, and worship. 8669455406_14a8bff673_b

 

Just as we approached the checking station where all non-Hindus must check-in, we realized one of the girls was missing.  David turned and left but whispered  to one of the students in the front, “Don’t say you are a Christian,”  and to me as he passed.

How jolting to people who have never had to declare their faith system.  There was only a few minutes to decide what to say.  Would they ask us individually or one person(me as the only adult) to declare for the group?

My faith as a Christian is too important for me to deny and I decided what I wanted to say within a minute or so.  I, of course,  didn’t feel that I could speak for each of the students. In countries with national religions, it is expected that everyone in the US is a Christian, which of course is not true.

I decided to say, “I am a Christian, but I can’t speak for the others.  We are  here to  visit India to learn all about her culture, including her faith systems.”

Well, it turned out that the Indian policeman asked only one person ( a male student)  and it wasn’t me. ( After all, I am a women.)  The student said something similar to me.  “We are architecture students from America who want to learn as much about India as we can during our time here.”

We were allowed to enter the entry courtyard of the temple that you can see is built into the fabric of the ancient city. Someone stayed with us and told us some details in broken English.

Now I don’t want anyone to think that I am implying in anyway we would have been hurt or imprisoned because we were Christians. We may have been refused entry even into the entrance .   But we have all heard recently about Christians being beheaded by haters, and persecuted and thrown into jail.   Christianity and the church  has become marginalized in the world, it seems.  And that  is partially the fault of the church and her members ( my opinion)  and our lack of love and involvement in the world  to “love our neighbors, and work for justice”.

This was a day full of thoughts and not just sights  for us.  I am sure it was for the students as well !

This Is Incredible India! 03

 

images from Google public domain

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Architecture, India, Religions of the World, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Are You a Christian?

  1. ShaunyNews says:

    A Million people is a LOT! But India does have the 2nd biggest populous on Earth 😀 There are 1.3 Billion people in India. There are 100 Million in 1 Billion, so this is 10% of India’s population! So that is a lot!!! 9% of India gathered in the same spot! And I guess people like you from across the globe.

    Kinda like in Scotland last year Anne..x
    We had 40% Show up in Glasgow and Edinburgh combined last year at the same time and 25% in Glasgow in May this year. To get those numbers in a small area is good, to get 9% of your Populous, if it was 9%, taking into account visitors like you, but still of 1.3 Billion in a HUGE Country the size of India is very impressive to get 9%!!!! All together in the same place, a huge big place!!
    JUST WOW!

    Good blog, amazing place India. I love India, Iran, Russia and other Countries in that area for architecture. Here in Europe and the Eastern bloc, no matter where you go, you can go into Buildings 1,000 or 2,000 years old. I believe you went to Italy? Kinda like that. The Colosseum! WOW… Europe just happens to have more history, all it is.
    And a LOT of that historical blood is now called the USA 😀

    Amazing blog Anne!!
    Re-Blogging this!

  2. ShaunyNews says:

    Reblogged this on ShaunyNews – More Love, Less hate, will make our World better and commented:
    A Million people is a LOT! But India does have the 2nd biggest populous on Earth 😀 There are 1.3 Billion people in India. There are 100 Million in 1 Billion, so this is 10% of India’s population! So that is a lot!!! 9% of India gathered in the same spot! And I guess people like you from across the globe.

    Kinda like in Scotland last year Anne..x
    We had 40% Show up in Glasgow and Edinburgh combined last year at the same time and 25% in Glasgow in May this year. To get those numbers in a small area is good, to get 9% of your Populous, if it was 9%, taking into account visitors like you, but still of 1.3 Billion in a HUGE Country the size of India is very impressive to get 9%!!!! All together in the same place, a huge big place!!
    JUST WOW!

    Good blog, amazing place India. I love India, Iran, Russia and other Countries in that area for architecture. Here in Europe and the Eastern bloc, no matter where you go, you can go into Buildings 1,000 or 2,000 years old. I believe you went to Italy? Kinda like that. The Colosseum! WOW… Europe just happens to have more history, all it is.
    And a LOT of that historical blood is now called the USA 😀
    Amazing blog Anne!!

  3. ShaunyNews says:

    I should have said a 100 Million at the start 😀 Sorry

  4. annetbell says:

    Thanks, Shaun! I love your enthusiasm. I, too, love Incredible India! Thanks for the reblog!

  5. wingedprisms says:

    What a great post. Thank you for sharing this. 😀 cate

  6. Pingback: Persecution Continues Around the World. . . . . . . | TalesAlongTheWay

  7. Pingback: Chrisitian Persecution in India | TalesAlongTheWay

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