Western Christians, Hindus and Sikhs Outsourcing Prayers to India and Other Countries

August 9, 2004

Source: Beliefnet.com


On August 9, 2004 Beliefnet.com reported, "From Orthodox Christians eager to have faraway Russian monks pray for their souls, to U.S. Hindus arranging for Indian temple rituals without leaving home, believers are finding long-distance ways to fulfill their worship needs. One example of this is the outsourcing of Catholic Masses to India...Currently, requests for such Masses are being collected by priests in European, Canadian and American churches and then communicated through mail, traveling clergy or, increasingly, by e-mail to the numerous churches in the crowded urban streets and emerald paddy fields of Kerala [a state in southwestern India]...Another aspect, which large international corporations will identify with, is the substantial financial savings when the intentions are sent to India. The normal donation requested for a Mass in, say, a parish in Germany can be 50 euro or $60. But to have the Mass said in a small church in Kerala costs only the equivalent of one dollar...Aided by the web, Hindus are finding that going to bow before their favorite deity at an Indian temple need not always involve getting on a plane and enduring an exhausting transatlantic light. They can sit in front of their computers at home to do it virtually...And Sikhs from the U.S., UK, Australia, and South Africa are asking for special scripture readings to be conducted in India's gurudwaras (Sikh temples)...Other religious institutions seem to be following suit. The financially struggling Russian monks of the famous Holy Lake Monastery of Our Lady of Iberia, near Moscow, hit upon a novel way to earn money for daily expenses and to renovate the monastery. They are offering single-mention prayer, (where the name of the person is said during the prayer) for sale online."