Are We Obliged To Tell Our Religion To New People, If The Religion Is Not Obvious?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by gouricocktail, Nov 28, 2022.

  1. gouricocktail

    gouricocktail Silver IL'ite

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    Inter-religious marriage between Hindu wife and Christian husband.

    Husband does not follow Christianity. Wife is moderately religious and follows few Hindu rituals or celebrates few festivals. Husband does not interfere and if needed or asked for help is willing to do that. Husband also likes to visit the temples when wife does it with the kids.

    Husband's parents gave him 2 names 1 Christian english name from Bible and 1 Hindu God name. His official full name is Joshua Senthil Peter (not the real name - just an example). He is referred with his Hindu name 'Senthil' by parents, uncles, aunts, neighbors, wife, all wife side relatives, etc. but in office all American colleagues call him Joshua.

    When he introduces himself to desis folks outside office, he tells his Hindu name as he is used to all Indians right from his childhood calling him with that name.

    Now the problem is, no one can tell he is a Christian unless explicitly told. So it comes as a shock for people if told explicitly after first 2-3 meetings.

    So should he always introduce himself by telling them to call him with his Hindu name but make sure during the first meeting he tells them that he is a Christian? Is he obliged to mention his religion? if not then how to deal with the folks who get shocked if not told the religion in the very first meeting.
     
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  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Why is his religion of concern to anybody, unless you are in a place of worship?
     
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  3. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    If husband does not follow Christianity and prefers Hindu name for self introduction, supports hindu rituals of his Hindu wife then why to even mention he is a Christian? According to me he is a lapsed Christian. Unlike Hindus which is do what you want, the Church has pretty strict rules of who is and is not a Christian and doesn’t seem like he’s following any of those anymore.
     
  4. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    OP,
    What I meant by my above response is that the question seems irrelevant given the situation you described.
    Of course it’s nobody’s business what religion you choose or not to practice, but if you want to subtly telegraph it he could introduce himself as ‘Joshua Senthil’ but call me Senthil. The ones who care what is his religion will ask and receive clarification and the ones who don’t care won’t.
     
  5. brahan

    brahan Platinum IL'ite

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    not needed..if needed then those friends are not needed
     
  6. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    This question of OP Transported my mind to a hilarious story in link

    Harbhajan Convert To Harris & Chicken Turns Into Potato
    I was mistaken for as christian as this name is common among tamil knowing converted ones in Tamilnadu. I faced situations where my acquaintances and even some pals were taken aback upon knowing "I am not". There are a handful of christian fathers in this city too- go exactly by my name.
     
  7. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    How come this person becomes a Christian by religion if he doesn't have faith on Christianity, and doesn't follow the religion. In fact, he follows his wife's religion to some extend by at least doing things with her. But not his birth religion anymore.

    So, it is better not to refer him as Christian, because he is not.

    On the other hand, how on earth a person's religion becomes anyone's problem?
    I have seen Ahmed, Ibrahim, Dawood, and Feroz who practice Christianity and call them Christians in the middle east and Phillips, Simons, Greg practice Islam and call themselves Muslims.

    My middle name is Tamil and the meaning of it is Goddess - Probably Hindu Goddess. Doesn't mean I am Hindu or identify myself as one. No one questioned my faith based on my name. Even if someone was curious I never had problems in explaining it.
    Names identifies us. Sometimes our race or even religion. But that doesn't define who we are or what is our faith.
    Because people can change their religion, and chose to retain their original name.
     
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  8. sociallifein30s

    sociallifein30s Gold IL'ite

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    I have heard people getting shocked when they come to know someone is a christian. I think with that experience, when I take some prasadam to office or plan a trip and include a visit to a temple, they tell me specifically they are christian and not Hindu, because of the same reasons you described. They are known with a Hindu name. BUt are christians.
    Some poeple are ok with christians eating their home made prasadam. because its food and you are feeding someone. Some arent ok because its made with discipline, bhakti.
    I really dont think mentioning religion is important. BUt if he is worried of the "shock" factor, cant he just introduce himself with both names? like "hi, Im senthil Peter, you can call me Senthil"
    Lot of people do that. Jayaram is Jay, Mounika is Mon, etc.
     
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  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Absolutely not. Gone are the days when people made judgment about people based on their religious values. In fact, no discussion takes place with reference to religious values in social gathering or business meetings. Even when people introduce each other, they talk about their education, state where their ancestors lived, country from where the parents came (only when asked if they have an accent), the family, etc. and I have not seen religion discussed in such interactions. Sometimes, the last name reveals the religion when a full name is used for introducion purposes.

    A few decades back, people did business with someone based on their religious values as they thought such discussions proves their trustworthiness, business ethics, and integrity. Now only background check helps as there are people who are mixture of multiple religious values either because their parents are from different religion or they married a person from another religion or they have learned a new religion attracted by its values and practice those values voluntarily either converting themselves into that religion or just practice without conversion.
     
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