Buddhism and Christianity: A Comparison
A missionary religion can be described as a religious group sent to an area of different spirituality, and sending the message of their belief. Two good examples of the success of missionary religions are Christianity in Europe and Buddhism in India, both using comparable conversion strategies. Christianity and Buddhism diffused into their civilization by targeting minorities and had similar views on gender roles because they believed that women and men were equal, initially. Also, they were both promoted by an imperial government, although being persecuted early on.
During a time in which patriarchal societies dominated both India and Europe, Christianity and Buddhism believed that women were equal to men, initially. Buddhist women were allowed to become Nuns, women religious leaders, which were given similar rights as men. For example, in the Buddhist Hymn by Sungalamata, a Buddhist Nun, Sungalamata describes how Buddhism set her free from the harsh duties of being an Indian woman at the time, and was able to leave her unprincipled husband. This hymn is understandable because allowing women to be “free” would attract women to the religion and showing how happy Sungalamata was to become a Nun will make women unhesitant to also become Nuns. In a similar way to Buddhism, Christianity also gave women equality, initially. Christianity told women that as long as they had faith, they were welcome to become Christians. For example, the Galatians 3: 26-29 reads, “For through your faith you are all sons of God in union with Christ Jesus. There is no such thing as... male and female; for you are all one person in Christ Jesus.” This is understandable because Christians wanted women to join the religion, and wanted them to know that you could become a Christian solely through faith and that men and women are equal.
Even though Buddhism and Christianity gave gender equality, as soon as their numbers grew, they took...
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