Faith Community for Humanity

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Faith communities are established with an optimistic manner resulted middle aged pessimistic situation. Churches, mosques and temples were the sign of hope established for the humanity purpose. Rudolf Steiner’s lines are very important to define the importance of humanity to unite people in their hard times, ¨A major task facing humanity as it moves into the new millennium is that of uniting spiritual and practical life¨. Rudolf further said that the ¨importance in the middle ages the time of Christendom science, art, religion and society were still to a great extent united. And The rise of the modern age, a powerful cleft was driven between human beings, nature and the divine. We may call the process civilization¨ (Rudolf 1).

Norway for a period of one thousand years ago in its long tradition as a culturally homogeneous and religiously monolithic Christian state. ‘every man shall be a Christian in the Realm of Norway’ (The Frostating Code). I Eidsvåg, T Lindholm, B Sveen mentioned in their book, ¨paragraph 2 of Norway’s new 1814 Constitution was given this wording: The Evangelical-Lutheran religion shall remain the public religion of the state¨. I Hoyland said “These protestant Lutheran churches in Oslo are influenced with the wave of European Process of secularization and dechristianization“.

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It seems that new generations of Norway hardly make a matter of discussion about the religion in the public areas like schools, hospitals. They are very aware of the homogenous society. But, the record shows that 75 percent of Norway’s population are currently baptized members of the Norwegian churches. Faith communities were established for the purpose of helping to the children of god. And it equally helps to develop and growth of religious beliefs with integrating the people of the community.

Discussion on faith community for humanity I have decided to visit a Gronland Church, on Sunday, January 20th, 2019 because it is very close to my apartment. I went along with my 5 years daughter because she is always with me on Saturdays and Sundays. It is in the neighbourhood of grønland in the borough of Gamle Oslo, and near by the grønlandsparken. The address of this church is Gronladsleiret 34,0190 Oslo. Grønland church is largest church in Oslo built in 1869, with the capacity of 800 people.

This church was designed by Wilhelm Von Hanno which is sometimes known as the cathedral of the east end. This church is very specious with the greenery in grønlandsparken nearby. The wall of the church is brown in colours and the roof is in green. The interior of the church is simple and particularly protestant. As I said I am familiar with the location of the church, but I booked the service at 11 o’clock in the morning when it was all spoken in Norwegian. I had no idea about the English service of this church because there is very little information about their service. When I reached at the door, I got some pamphlets for today’s session which was all in Norwegian. The Norwegian service started in exact time at 11.00 in the morning with approximately 30 peoples including children.

On that day, the number of female prayers were more than males. The male priest was in the white clothes addressing to his listeners. I was not pre-planned with this Norwegian session. But I enjoyed very much in the new environment with new system of worshiping. I was not familiar with the church system because this is my first time to visit in any Norwegian Christian church. Due to this I was hesitated to ask the name of the priest. While I was there sitting in the back, I was able to dissect some of the norms of the church and the culture within. The Church view was beautiful outside and inside. I saw the beautiful stained-glass windows and high ceilings. Not only are there high ceiling but the paintings on the ceilings were beautiful. They were so colourful, with dots of gold and red all over the inner walls. The hallway was quiet people were in the queue while taking coffee, cakes and biscuits.

The church external appearance was quite different than other churches that I have seen. It was basically a big white block with very high a white ceiling on top and four decorated dots on each corner of the building that surrounded the ceiling. The people of course were all Norwegian speaking and were with very common dressed. Because in Norwegian it is not called a mass but “the service of God” (gudstjeneste). After all everyone is allowed to enter the house of God (I hope so otherwise I committed a blasphemy already). Some of the men and boys wore suits, and If not, they had some kind of white vest on. I don’t know if this was some kind of rule or tradition, but it mostly seemed as a respect to God. The women all wore the casual dresses, and all usually wearing the pants and t shirts. As I walked in the church, I entered a hall of some kind. What I hear was something like social hour. Everybody was there in the coffee room. People who were in the social gathering, they were all speaking Norwegian, my daughter made some interesting communication with them when we have coffee in the time of social gathering. There are no differences on the basis of age and gender inside the church.

Most of the people were all very close to each other. When I asked them about their regular visit in the church. They said the church is the centre of their lives and they used to come every Sundays with their family members. Before left from the church we had a slice of cake, biscuits and coffee. Children were raising the fund in the closing of the session. Their parents donate some of the amount for the social cause. From this child also have develop the sense of responsibility towards their society. They were encouraged by their seniors. After closing of one-hour morning session I returned back to my home with great satisfaction. Today I feel my body extremely light. And my mind is very relaxed. It was really very fantastic moment in my life. I am planning to go on every Sundays.

Analysis on faith community for humanity There are many similar and different belief systems between Hinduism and Christianity. Christian believe that there is only one god- Father, Jesus as the son of god. In this regard Christianity is a belief on monotheistic religion where as in Hindu religion people believe in many gods and goddess, almost 330 million. Hence, Hindu have different ways of worshipping the god and goddesses. For examples, some gods or goddesses do not need roof and compounds to worships for but some of them are placed inside the beautiful temples. Most of the Hindu temples are free to shouting, praying loud. Ringing loud the temple bells, and ash of incense everywhere which seems to be very unsystematic crowd. I did not find anything like this while visiting in the grønland church.

In this way Hindu temples area seems to be very shouting with the flavour of incense and flowers that we can feel from the distance, but I had different feelings while going to the church. It was very quiet, systematic and well planned. You can concentrate your mind and your thinking. You can properly hear the speech of the leader. But in most of the Hindu temples you even cannot stand for a five minutes time to worshipping the god or goddess. Police always are there to manage the systems in the temple. There are vast differences in the matter of cleanliness around the temples and churches. Grønland church is much cleaner than the temples I visited. The process of worshipping is different. Hindus take incense, flowers, fruits and some cash while going to the temple. They complete all the process by themselves. Priest of the temple give the PRASAD after the worship. But in the grønland church, I had experienced that preacher go in, take a seat and listen the speech and have some cake or coffee as a PRASAD.

Hindu prayers have not a formal dress while going inside the temple, but they need to put their shoes out of the temple. I did not find any Norwegian with the church dress except the priest. I have heard that Norwegians believe that everyone is allowed to enter the house of god. In this way Norwegian church are more liberal. In reality Hindu temples are not too much liberal while entering the temple. So called lower caste, within Hinduism, still are not allowed to enter the temple. At the closing session children were raising the fund for the humanity in the gronland church, but if you are planning to visit a Hindu temple, you will be ready for some cash for the beggars. You will find them outside the temple. Prayer have no control on their donations. Even the government has no control on it. Main priest and assistant priests only know about the fund in most of the cases. People lit the candles in the church as the same in the temples people lit DIYO, s which are not actually made up of wax/ candle. It is purely made up of Ghee from cow milk. Sometimes worshippers used mustard oil for it.

In a Hindu temple worshiper or a prayer take off the shoes out and touch entrance door and bow down his head and do the same again in front of the god. Ideologically Christian believe on justification by faith, and they believe there is life after death. Hindu have the same believe. Prayer is the means by which Christians communicate with their god. Baptism is an inward commitment to the teachings of Jesus. Like baptism, Hindus have the rituals of Bratabandha after which he /she become the righteous member of the religion. For example, the person will be burnt rather than graved. In every religion faith communities are developed for the development and betterment of humanity. Otherwise people will involve in the selfish activities. Crimes, murder and stealing increases and sense of morality will be decreased from the human race. If we heard preaching once in every week this will benefit to the whole society.

Faith communities like church, mosque and temples are the symbols of religious beliefs who helps to spread humanity, trust, unity and optimism. Natural disasters can be happened to anyone in any time. Something is not under the human control. Anger, frustration, disease and weaknesses of old age comes in every life. Faith communities are simply hope institutions. They need funds to run themselves and help to the needy people. Teachings of every religion make people better to best individual. They are able to read the soul of other individuals and they can live and something to the needy people. Through these value consensus and shared values society always integrated to achieve its common goals. Members of every society are interrelated and interdependent and they have the common interest for the betterment of the society. The structure and the process of the religion may different but human feelings and human problems are same. We all need to solve these problems with the common agenda.

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