The Catholic Church in Croatia has issued a statement in which it opposes the inclusion of Yoga in a sports program to take place in the city of Slavonski Brod, warning that yoga is an “anti-Catholic cult.”
“Under the guise of sport will be introduced anti-Catholic activities like yoga,” warns a translation of the website of the diocese of Slavonski Brod.
The warning refers to the inclusion of yoga in the sports and educational program called “Summer in Brod”.
In advance of the program, parishes distributed leaflets which “warn of the dangers of Eastern cults.”
Even though yoga is not perceived in Europe in a religious context but as more of a relaxation technique and exercise regime, the diocese warns that “yoga is part of Hinduism” and detached from this it cannot be understood.
An esotericism expert named Clemens Pilar writes: Yoga is a “psycho spiritual technique of self-transcendence,” designed to help a person “ascend to the divine and the final liberation from the cycle of rebirths through enlightenment (Samadhi) gain”.
He adds: “Only on the surface does Yoga appear neutral. In its essence, it is an integral part of Eastern religions.”
The Catholic Church in Croatia has been trying for some time to educate the faithful about the dangers of yoga and it has had some success.
For example, the Croatian Bishops’ Conference blocked a 2003 proposal of the former Social Democratic government to implement yoga in school sports activities.