Buddhist Chaplain Evangelizes Around the World

US Army Chaplain (Capt) Somya Malasri is currently in Australia with his unit, where he is leading Buddhist services for both American servicemembers and their Australian hosts.

An Army article notes Chaplain Malasri is “evangelizing” in his travels around the world:

A chaplain for 10 months now, Malasri is spreading the teachings and philosophies of Buddha to soldiers on multiple continents.

In an interesting perspective, Chaplain Malasri says “it’s not necessarily about religion.”

I think the Buddhist service can be really good for the soldiers because it’s not necessarily about religion. It’s about relaxing, reflecting on life, and letting go of worries or suffering of any sort.”

(Chaplain Malasri previously hosted a Vesak celebration at his home station.)  Like his Chaplain counterparts in other units, Malasri serves the needs of all who come, whether they are the Americans he traveled with or members of the host nation.  His story highlights the religious freedom the US military tries to protect for its own members, and also that which it often brings to places they travel.

One comment

  • Fascinating and inspiring. But I don’t think it’s fair that you put “evangelizing” in quotes, since the article you link to never uses that word. The article itself gives scant information about how he ‘is spreading teachings and philosophies,’ but does mention that the Chaplain signed up in order to serve the existing 5000 Buddhists in the Armed Forces, and that he leads a religious service on Sundays, but leads a meditation class on other days of the week.

    So does he evangelize?