Growing Public Disillusionment with the EU
Posted on September 30th, 2022

Senaka Weeraratna

The Great Fire of Lisbon of 1755 shattered the myth of a loving God and set Europe on the path to modern Atheism.

Voltaire’s book Candide espoused public disillusionment with ‘God’  and it led to later-day books like ‘ God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

At the end of the Second World War in 1945 with misery and hardship staring down on Europeans, there began another disillusionment in Europe – on the validity of traditional belief systems and religions rooted in Abrahamic monotheistic thought.  Europeans led by Germans began to look East toward Asia for an eternal answer to achieving Peace – a stable peace. A stream of German scholars embraced Buddhism and some took to monkhood such as Ven. Nyanatiloka Maha Thera, Ven, Nyanaponika, and  Ven. Nyanawimala all resident at Polgasduwa. In turn, Asians responded to the growing interest in Buddhism in European circles by sending Buddhist missions from Asia to Europe. Anagarika Dharmapala, the world’s first Global Buddhist Missionary, established the London Buddhist Vihara in 1926. 

Almost 30 years later another visionary Buddhist Missionary from Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese Asoka Weeraratna under the auspices of the German Dharmaduta Society which he founded in Colombo in 1952, led a Buddhist Mission to Germany with three Buddhist monks drawn from the Vajiraramaya in Colombo in 1957 and established the first Theravada Buddhist Vihara in Europe. He transformed Das Buddhistische Haus in Berlin – Frohnau, founded in 1924 by Dr. Paul Dahlke, into a Buddhist Vihara by stationing there on a long-term footing with Buddhist monks sent from Sri Lanka.

The current crisis in Europe regarding a lack of Gas and Heat to meet the coming winter has given rise to another widespread public disillusionment in Europe i.e. – on the farsightedness and capability of the European Union (EU).

 Has the EU done more harm than good to Europe by its stubborn obstinacy toward Russia? 

It is a question worthy of public debate and serious reflection.

Senaka Weeraratna

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