No one knows why. There doesn't seem to be a profound ideological issue at stake, nor does yoga appear to be a pillar of the dogmatic beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism. Yoga is simply a method, not a belief. Just like prayer for Catholics is a practice, a method, by which Catholics supposedly convey their desires and wishes to their God. Perhaps one should ban hymn singing and choirs as well, or the eating of bread and the drinking of wine....
All religious practices and rituals are grounded in beliefs that are, most often than not, absolute fantasies from the Stone Age of humanity, but they themselves are not part of the core belief(s) of the religion itself.
So why would the Catholic Church in Rome, followed by its appendages and satellites like the Maronite Church in Lebanon (see below a translation from Arabic of an article appearing in the Lebanon Files online news website at: http://www.lebanonfiles.com/news/1227007), suddenly decide to wage war against Yoga and declare it a form of devil worship? There could be only one real-world (not some bullshit religious) explanation, and that is as follows: In the contest of popularity, monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), especially the Christian one, are losing. People today are the most educated since time immemorial. People read and access information that 20 or 40 years ago was difficult to find, but which is now available at the tip of their fingers. As people also have begun to cross-fertilize practices, both religious and non-religious, and come up with new ways to remain healthy and fit, yoga has for decades become a standard practice in which people calm their nerves, lose weight, learn to think by meditating and find balance in their stressful daily lives. Few of the practitioners of yoga take a religious stance with the practice. Yoga is like jogging, exercising, going to spa, etc. But the Catholic Church, has decided to demonize yoga because people find yoga more beneficial to them than going to church and uttering meaningless chants in languages that they don't understand (Aramaic, Latin, etc.), led by grownup adults called priests who make a living lying to children and to other naive, credulous, and desperate adults.
The Church is demonizing yoga because it - the Church - wants people to return back to its empty churches on Sundays. It claims that prayer alone, and faith alone, can bring healing and well-being. By diverting people away from Catholic religious practice, yoga is making the church lose fans and the money that comes with them.
As we speak, in this Lebanon that is governed by religious organizations of all kinds, there is an open conflict between the private (i.e. religious) schools and the government. The government just raised salaries of all kinds of employees, including teachers. As a result, the religious schools (which dominate education in Lebanon) want to raise their tuition fees, and the government is telling them you can't do that. The government does not want to give money to people with one hand and see it taken away by the religious establishment (which does in fact benefit as non-profit entities because it does not pay any taxes). The problem is fundamental in Lebanon. The religious establishments, via the politicians they control, do everything in their power to weaken and undermine the State schools and universities. In Lebanon it is common knowledge that private (i.e. religious) education is far better than public education. But public education is denied any serious funding by religiously-affiliated politicians, just to keep it down and keep the private education sector soaring. In other words, the Christian churches in Lebanon are essentially at the same stage in their evolution as the Catholic Church was in the late 1700s. They had their cake and they ate it too. The French revolution put an end to it, and today, French public education is far better quality than any religious private education because taxpayers' money goes to supporting public secular education. Not yet in Lebanon where we are still in the late Middle Ages.
People around the world understand that the monotheistic religions have been lying, inventing stories and fables, tailoring texts as they please, for the sole purpose of controlling people. Because sex has potentially the ability to liberate people from any attempt at controlling people, all three monotheistic religions have always been interested in dictating strict and repressive sexual practices on their followers. Hence the constant focus on virginity (the virgin conception and the virgin birth), chopping off parts of the sexual anatomy of people, chastity, homosexuality, banning condoms, premarital sex, etc.
So this frontal attack against yoga is one hypocritical way for the Church to admit it is gradually losing ground to secular ways of conducting one's life, be it in seeking health and fitness or in seeking education. The religious establishments in Lebanon are essentially cartels with lots of money and a credulous ignorant population of followers who have yet to accept that the earth is round and not flat, that life is governed by Darwinian selection and not by some magical design by some big zombie in the sky, that the plague is caused by bacteria and poor hygiene and not by a punishing God, etc. etc. etc. But the Lebanese Christians, just like their Muslim compatriots, are a herd of sheep who are brainwashed not to think for themselves.
Below is the translation of the Lebanon Files article. You be the judge of who is the insane criminal and who is the victim in this charade. The name of the heroine of this anti-yoga campaign is a woman by the name of ILDICO ELIA (I wonder who other than the Devil himself could come up with a name like this).
Tuesday 05 September 2017
The media personality Ildico Elia published on her Facebook page the following statement: “The Festival to Evoke Evil Spirits will take place in Beirut in two weeks, and it must be boycotted. Please. It is a Yoga festival”
Elia’s statement follows the announcement by the Nafas association of holding its fourth Beirut Yoga Festival, entitled “Take a Breath”, in the Beirut Hippodrome on 16 September 2017.
Elia followed her first posting with another one which is a prayer from Father Antoine Lattouf that says: “Pray with me, my faithful brothers for the rain to fall on the day of the Beirut Yoga Festival, on 16 September. O Creator of heaven and earth and all that is seen and unseen, Heavenly Father, Powerful Father, creator of earth, sun, and the stars in their orbits, the seasons in their succession, the mover of winds and clouds as they blow, form and change, we ask You in all faith, trust and hope, in the name of your only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to show your power and your might, to make the rain fall in profusion above the Hippodrome in Beirut on 16 September of this year, in order to completely undermine the festival of the Hindu Devil, Shiva, the “god” of yoga. In doing this, You will show your dominion and declare your might, you the creator, manager, and ruler over the elements. You are the living and only true God, with your only son, Jesus Christ, and your life-giving Holy Spirit, one trinity in its essence, glorified, praised and worshiped for eternity. Amen”. The article also publishes a link to a YouTube video containing the testimony of a former yoga practitioner who has now “seen” the truth!