Americans increasingly embracing Hinduism: Newsweek
`Lets all say Om` seems to be the new American mantra with an increasing number of people in this country subscribing to the essentially Hindu belief.
New York: `Lets all say Om` seems to be the new American mantra with an increasing number of people in this country subscribing to the essentially Hindu belief that there is no one way to salvation and that many religions could lead to eternal peace.
A piece in an upcoming edition of the Newsweek magazine quoting a recent poll says that Americans are slowly becoming more like Hindus "conceptually" and less like traditional Christians in the ways they think about God and eternity.
The article headlined "we are all Hindus now" cites a Newsweek poll in 2009 according to which 30 percent of Americans call themselves "spiritual, not religious," up from 24 percent in 2005.
It shows that the number of people who seek spiritual truth outside the church is growing.
"A Hindu believes there are many paths to God. Jesus is one way, the Quran is another, yoga practice is a third. None is better than any other. The most traditional, conservative Christians have not been taught to think like this," the article says. However, Americans are no longer buying it.
According to a 2008 Pew Forum survey, 65 percent of Americans believe that "many religions can lead to eternal life" including 37 percent of conservative white evangelicals, it says.
The theory of re-incarnation, which is central to Hindu belief, also seems to be finding acceptance, with 24 percent of Americans saying they believe in the concept, the article said quoting a 2008 Harris poll.
According to the Cremation Association of North America, more than a third of Americans were now choosing cremation as the ultimate fate of their bodies, up from six percent in 1975, it says.
This contradicts the traditional Christian belief that bodies and souls are sacred, that together they comprise the "self” and that at the end of time they will be reunited in the Resurrection.