Church of England's Hindu Priest Meets Opposition

A Christian priest from the Church of England has reportedly converted to Hinduism, but still claims his position as an Anglican priest.

52-year-old David Ananda Hart worships his gods though he's recently adopted a new religion. The man has always been religious as a priest for the Church of England and now as a staunch Hindu.

That has started a debate in the Anglican Church, and the church is reportedly under pressure to take a position on this issue.

But he sees no conflict of interest or devotion, for him it's about worshipping god.

He's a practising Hindu in India who teaches English and once he returns to England he will go back to being an Anglican priest.

"I don't really see any contradiction or even tension between saying Christian prayers and saying Hindu prayers. Now that I am here in the Hindu context that is how I pray with the community with my staff with friends to God," said David Ananda Hart, Anglican Priest.

David's position has confused the diocese in Thiruvananthpuram. They recently renewed his priest's license unaware of his new affiliations.

David admits he kept the church authorities in the dark but doubts if the Bishop will take any action against him now.

At a time when religious differences seem to be tearing the world apart, David the author of a book called Trading Faith feels his beliefs brings people together.

"Traditionally in all religions there is a feeling that religion is a club. I am from this religion we are against all other religions that is out to date today we are moving very fast towards a single global village," said David Ananda Hart.

In a recent opinion poll conducted by church times in England, 53 per cent people said David Hart should not continue as a priest while 43 per cent of people had an opposite view.

However, not everyone in the Church of England is impressed by Mr Hart's passion for Hinduism. Pauline Scott, the team vicar of St James, in Stretham, said that she would oppose any attempts by Mr Hart to celebrate in the Ely Diocese.

"We do tend to use Christian priests, surprisingly enough," she said.

The debacle has even sparked international criticism. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., current president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - one of the largest seminaries in the world, offered scathing criticism of the Hindu convert.

"He is the poster-priest for the worst and most mindless form of theological relativism. You would be hard pressed to find two more radically distinct theologies than those of Christianity and Hinduism. He is an idolater who has repudiated Christianity and biblical theism. And now he expects the Church of England to allow him to continue as a priest."

David is currently working on his new book unity of world religions, which is scheduled to be published in England early next year.