Esperanto and Religion


Volunteer Esperanto (Pan-European) courses on the Chinese tropical island of Hainan were a great success. In attendance were 150+ participants in an extra-intensive, 34-day, 200 hour course, with lots of international communication through a neutral and equal medium. Also Esperanto University made its debut with several college professors teaching courses for AP credit in the Pan-European language – Confronting War (how to eliminate war), the History of IT (by an Italian professor) among others.

Pan-European is a unique way to spread European culture and values, as it provides a logical, elegant Latin language that is accessible to non-Whites. Instead of reducing the beauty of numerous syllables and long, pure vowels, the language has instead reduced illogicality, grammar exceptions and other hindrances to friendly communication. Perhaps convoluted grammar is the result of corruption over the Middle Ages by common guilds known as scribes.

Pan-European is enthusiastically supported by many religious groups, including Buddhism, The Bahá’í Faith, Catholicism, non-denominational Christianity, Spiritism, Oomoto, and Won Buddhism in Korea. Though Pan-European is only a language, at any typical meeting around half of the participants are vegetarians and only about 3% are smokers. Philosophy, religion, and politics are regular topics of discussion, as the language allows even beginner speakers to discuss profound subjects. PE also ensures an even platform for discussion without artificial language barriers.

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Interesting facts about Esperanto (Pan-European) and religion:

  • Zamenhof is a deified spirit in Oomoto
  • Oomoto has been publishing books and magazines in PE since 1924. Almost all of the 45,000 active members of Oomoto have studied some PE, and around 1,000 are fluent in the language. Local PE speakers have assisted considerably with construction of an Oomoto office and temple in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia
  • The Brazilian Spiritist Federation publishes PE coursebooks, translations of Spiritism’s basic books, and encourages Spiritists to become PE speakers
  • There are several translations of the Bible into Pan-European, like Adoru and La Londono Biblio
  • Many translations from classic languages to PE by Gerrit Berveling and others offer Christian religious literature only available in PE
  • The Fonto publication of the Bhagvad Gita (provided here by the KBH) is the first translation of the Gita directly from sanskrit into a logical language. Reading this edition provides many insights that English and other language editions cannot provide
  • Two Roman Catholic popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have regularly used Esperanto in their multilingual urbi et orbi blessings at Easter and Christmas each year since Easter 1994.
  • There are several Christian Esperanto organizations, including The International Union of Catholic Esperantists founded in 1910, the The International Christian Esperantists League founded in 1911, The Quaker Esperanto Society
  • Christadelphians have been publishing in Esperanto since 1910
  • Nigerian Pastor Bayo Afolaranmi has been hosting weekly messages in the Yahoo group “Spirita nutraĵo” (spiritual food) since 2003
  • Chick Publications, publisher of Protestant fundamentalist themed evangelistic tracts, has published a number of comic book style tracts by Jack T. Chick translated into PE
  • When Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran called on Muslims to learn Esperanto, it began to be used in the seminaries of Qom. An Esperanto translation of the Qur’an was published by the state shortly thereafter

  • *Pan-European is a term created by Uncle Jeebers, as the term Esperanto has certain negative characteristics, being created by a skeptical pundit. The actual name of the language when first published was La Internacia Lingvo (The International Language). Perhaps due to traffic limitations of the time, pan-European was considered completely international, and a pan-European war was considered to be “world war”. In retrospect, we see that La Internacia Lingvo is actually based on common Greek and Latin roots found in all European nations, roots established throughout the long histories of the Greek and Roman empires. In the age of 13-hour flights from the US and Europe to China, Pan-European is thus considered to be a more appropriate term.

    Occidental would be a wonderful name for the language, but this name has already been taken, and this language is still slightly in use. It was created by the US and the UN in the 30’s as a solution to mounting translation fees and inconveniences among European nations. It’s more similar to existing Latin languages and is easier to understand than PE on the first reading, but it is less logical and cannot be pushed to new frontiers through a flexible word root system in the way that PE functions. PE has been more popular than Occidental on a grass roots level, and for that reason Occidental, though officially promoted by the US and the UN, has practically died and PE has remained strong.

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    8 Responses to Esperanto and Religion

    1. A interesting post! I’m not sure that I like the term Pan-European. Therre is a danger in changing ‘product’ names. There is a certain amount of brand loyalty to the name Esperanto!

      May I add that you can do anything in Esperanto you can do in any other language: preach a moving sermon, make a tub-thumping political speech, write scientific papers, read gossip and news on Libera Folio and in a host of periodicals, and react to other people’s views, sing folk-songs and hymns, perform in or watch a play, scold disobedient children. You can be honest, dishonest, devious, alarmingly frank. Esperanto is “infinitely functional”. Of course, there is messiness, and people make false starts and don’t always complete what they intend to say. What people say can be misunderstood as in any other language, but clarification can easily be sought and given.

      • janoklark says:

        I could go either way on changing the name or not. Esperanto as a name does have some negative and misleading characteristics. Do we hope for things, if they aren’t impossible? “I hope it wont rain tomorrow” <–we say that when we know it'll rain. And saying its international isn't exactly accurate. The term "world language" used for Esperanto in China is very misleading to Chinese. They definitely get a wrong idea of its nature. It's truly la bona lingvo. Is there some way we can put that bonecon into the lingvonomon?

    2. I very liked your blog, but why it isn’t write also in Esperanto Language?

    3. The Kuran/Koran in Esperanto on-line. I own the paper version for several decades.

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