“Make religion more appealing”: Hindu statesman Zed suggests New Zealand religious leaders

April 3rd, 2009 - 12:03 am ICT by Sampurn Wire  

Reacting to Massey University study concluding “New Zealanders becoming less religious”, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed suggested to organizations and leaders of various religions and denominations in New Zealand to make religion more vibrant, attractive and engaging if they wanted to keep their people in religion’s fold.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that we (religious leaders and organizations) were responsible for the alienation of many believers thus resulting in increase of the people with “no religion”.. Our efforts at social control, judgmentalism, stagnant approach, etc., might be turning them away resulting in many of them questioning belief in God, equating religion with fear, etc. Some of them, who still believed in God, were bypassing religion to reach God questioning the linkage between “man made religions” and God. “If I “just do good’, I should be fine”, many of them argued.

Rajan Zed pointed out that life was getting complex and distractions were increasing, so religion was slipping away from the priority list of many. Conventional style of dealing with spirituality and religion did not appear to be effectively working, especially with today’s youth. Make it more exciting and challenging, Zed suggested.

We as religious leaders should live exemplary lives to add credibility to our preaching. Give them fresh answers without any religious stigma attached. Listen to what the people have to say before giving your opinion to them. Accept the people who and as they are. Make religion lively and not stagnant, Rajan Zed points out.

If religious leaders and organizations do not attend to this challenge more effectively in this consumerist society, we can lose our youth, to the other marketplace players, which are more powerful, attractive and vocal than religion and spirituality. Many youth appear to be bored from religion. Serving God does not have to be dull. For youth, make religion “cool” and do not force anything on them, Zed suggests.

Rajan Zed stresses that youth is not hostile to religion. Religious leaders and organizations need rethinking and reflection and come up with creative and new practices, norms, and ideas to make their product more competitive.

A spiritual world will be a better place to live than a non-spiritual world, Zed adds. -Sampurn Media

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