The Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church says yoga does not align with its Christian beliefs.
According to the Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church, yoga goes against Christian beliefs, according to The Christian Post.
The Syro Malabar Church, located in Kerala at the Malabar Coast, Southern India shared its reasons in a newly released document.
“The theology of yoga does not go along with the beliefs of Christianity. Yoga believes in oneness and cannot differentiate between creator and creation like in Christianity,” the doctrine claimed. “There is nothing wrong in taking yoga as an exercise but it is not a way to get salvation or spiritual experience.”
The report also stated: “There is danger in interpreting the results obtained through yoga practice as spiritual benefits. Hindu leaders also do not agree in presenting yoga as separate from Hindu religion. The contention that yoga practice will help in building religious amity in a multi-religious culture is baseless.
“The experience of yoga is that the practitioner, nature, and God become one but according to Christianity, nature, and God cannot become one. Many Hindus view the love of Christians towards yoga as part of a covert attempt to convert people and as an unnecessary infringement on Hindu customs.”
The report was titled ‘Yogayum Katholika Vishvasavum’ (Yoga and Catholic beliefs). It was prepared by Doctrinal commission chairman Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt.
The church backed the document with the Roman Catholic leader’s statements on yoga.
In 2015, the pope used a homily to remind people that practices like yoga are unable to make our hearts accessible to God.
“You can take a million catechetical courses, a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things. But all of this will never be able to give you freedom”, he explained.
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also criticised the practice in 2010.
“Christians practice yoga they must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga,” he said.
Despite these statements, there are many people, Christians included who see and practice yoga as a form of exercise.
Do you think Christians should practice yoga?