Kerala Church home to a controversial archbishop, accused of demeaning yoga

The Syro-Malabar Church, which is already reeling under land scam accusations where its archbishop is an accused, has now reported to have demeaned yoga. As per reports, a doctrinal commission report of the church, yoga wasn’t a way to reach god.

It further claimed that it wasn’t right to believe that yoga would be helpful in having a divine experience. The church report also supposedly claimed that “yoga doesn’t bring any improvement in a person”. This report was prepared by Pala diocese bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangattu, and was supposedly approved recently. The commission in question comprised of three bishops and a priest.

Further the report decided to communalise yoga by claiming that church heads should avoid paying attention to yoga and “other spiritual movements”, which it claims are against the christian faith. It also claimed that yoga didn’t promote official church teachings and spread anti-Christian views.

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Other media reports have quoted the report as urging Christians to not practice yoga a spiritual relief method, and called it a physical exercise. It further alleged that the RSS was trying to spread its Hindutva agenda via yoga. As per the article, the Yoga report has quoted “authentic church documents” which apparently contain anti-Yoga references. One of the conclusions it draws as a result of its “findings” is that the church should not encourage yoga.

One media report claimed that the church has called for a rereading of yoga. It also observed that yoga had no space for god – the creator and sustainer, even after spiritual experiences were taken into consideration. The church has also supposedly gone to the extent of placing yoga in the secretive category of practices in its youth doctrine.

In defence of the church, its spokesperson Jimmy Poochakattu has claimed that the content in question was part of a study material, and was written about two years ago.

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