Churchgoers in Wales have threatened to boycott a church after it banned yoga from its building, claiming it’s “non Christian”.
According to the Church’s administration, yoga was prohibited in the Church because the activity originated in ancient India and therefore “might be seen to be in conflict with Christian values and belief”.
A part of St David’s Church, in the Welsh town of Blaenporth, is currently being converted into a community center following the residents’ complaints that the town lacked facilities for activities.
Local people, however, were outraged that the Church’s administration decided that, while pilates would be allowed in the center, yoga will be prohibited – together with other “non-Christian activities”, The Telegraph reported.
In addition to concerns about its Indian origins, another part of the reasoning why yoga was designated as a “non-Christian” activity is due to its teachings focusing “on oneself, instead of on the one true God”.
One resident wrote a letter to a local council, saying: “I would like to make you aware of the intended community activity restrictions that have been imposed once St David’s Church, Blaenporth is part-converted into a well-needed community centre.
“I and no doubt some Blaenporth residents are not at all happy with the view the church has on community activities like yoga, tai chi, taekwondo, cash prize bingo and the like. It is supposed to be a community affair where old and young can enjoy a better quality of life.
“I, for one, will not be dictated to as to what activity events are open to me. Therefore, I will not be visiting this establishment for recreational enjoyment until a fair and non-bias community centre is built.”
A spokesman for the Church in Wales said the administration is “keen to broaden the use of St David’s Church”, but it will continue being a place of Christian worship.
“Therefore, it is felt that activities that might be seen to be in conflict with Christian values and belief would not be appropriate”, he added.
A local resident who spoke with The Telegraph, but asked not to be named, claimed: “Over the last 12 months it became obvious that the Church was tightening its grip on what activities would be allowed to take place.
“I think the Church sees the community centre as a way of keeping the church going, but they are going against what residents want. With the best will in the world it will not be a proper community centre – it cannot be.”