Yesterday Ramona received a letter from the church in which she was asked to pay money to the church. I was really very surprised about this as I had never heard that you have to pay. Then she told me that this was like a request for a donation and that there was a church tax that you are really obliged to pay. She said that she wanted to quit and told me that for that, too, you have to pay 31 Euro!
Since then I am really wondering why this is necessary. She showed me the letter that she had received. There it was written how much money you have to give to them. It is 9% of your income tax that has to be paid. And this is obligatory, if you don’t, they take you to court. I think when you want to support the church or temple or mosque it should be voluntary. Why do they force people to pay?
I heard that churches are empty these days. I think this pressure that is created makes people go away from the institution. I am not in any way against any religion or against the church. For me Jesus and Krishna are same. I don’t see myself as a follower of any other religion. I just want to say how it creates pressure on the people and makes them lose their belief.
India is a very spiritual country and people there are very God-conscious. They love to go to the temple and they give donations because they love to take part in the religious activities there. You are also not a ‘member’ of Hinduism as you are a member of the church. This means that if you have the belief then you are Hindu. You do not have to pay if you do not believe in it. Here, too, many people are Christian although they do not believe in the church and are not a ‘member’.
And I was told that many people of older generations go to church not because of their belief. They go because if they don’t, the neighbours will talk bad or the priest will think they are not religious. However the reason to go to church should be that you enjoy it there. A lot of acting and drama is going on also in this. Just be yourself and original. This I also said in Darshan in the evening: be yourself!