Many Indian Christians Follow Hindu Beliefs Including Karma, Reincarnation And Ganga's Purifying Powers: Pew Survey

by Swarajya Staff - Jul 13, 2021 11:19 AM +05:30 IST
Many Indian Christians Follow Hindu Beliefs Including Karma, Reincarnation And Ganga's Purifying Powers: Pew SurveyRIver Ganga in Haridwar (Pic via Twitter)

A substantial number of Indian Christians follow religious practices and beliefs not traditionally associated with Christianity including the Karma, reincarnation and purifying powers of holy river Ganga, finds a survey conducted by Pew Research.

The nationally representative survey was conducted between November 2019 and March 2020.

"Most Indian Christians say they believe in karma (54 per cent), which is not rooted in the Christian religion. And many Indian Christians also believe in reincarnation (29 per cent) and that the River Ganga has the power to purify (32 per cent), both of which are core teachings in Hinduism," the survey finds.

Further, some Chritians also celebrate Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali. Meanwhile, some Christian women sport 'bindi' on their forehead, a custom not traditionally linked to the Christianity.

"It is also somewhat common for Indian Christians to observe customs tied to other religions, like celebrating Diwali (31 per cent) or wearing a forehead marking called a bindi (22 per cent), most often worn by Hindu, Buddhist and Jain women," according to a Pew Research report.

The report further added that "Lower-Caste Indian Christians are much more likely than upper-caste (also called General Category) Christians to hold both Christian and non-Christian beliefs".

Roughly half of lower-caste Christians (51 per cent) believe in demons or evil spirits, while just 12 per cent of higher-caste Christians hold this belief, according to the report.

"Lower-caste Christians also are more likely than General Category Christians to believe in spiritual forces not generally associated with Christianity, like karma (58 per cent vs 44 per cent) and the evil eye (33 per cent vs 12 per cent)," the report said.

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