Why did Gandhi say he likes Christ but he does not like Christians because they are unlike their Christ?

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Answer 6 June 2009
Gandhi actually said "I admire Christ, but not Christians"; Gandhi liked/loved all people.
It is impossible to say, for certain, why Gandhi made this comment. He lived both in South Africa when it was under British rule, and later in India during the time of the Raj. It is not a matter of debate that, whilst Britain did bring benefits to India, it did so in a manner which was paternalistic and, at times, quite brutal.
The fact that the ones doing this to the people of India proclaimed themselves to be followers of Christ, would quite possibly have made an impression on Gandhi, who, it appears, had read the Gospel accounts and saw that Christ's followers were quite unlike Christ Himself. Whereas Christ turned the other cheek, the British rulers could be harsh. Whereas Christ was a person who loved the weak, the oppressed, and the outcast the British rulers were seen to be rich, powerful and elitist.

  • Because he was right. There are very, very few Christ-like people in this world and Ghandi quite possibly never met one. This has always been the case; true Christians - not in just name only - are few and far between.

Matthew 15:7 "Hypocrites, well did Esaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draw nigh to me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me."
  • Gandhi loved the Sermon on the Mount and all its teachings and urged his followers to read certain parts of the Bible and adhere to those principles. But, he did not agree with the divinity of the Christ or that no one may enter heaven except through him.
  • For Gandhi, "God is Truth" and vice versa. Christ, like Gandhi, was nonviolent. How many Christians are nonviolent? Therefore, the quote strikes a chord with most people because it rings as absolute truth. Christ wrote "Give away your possessions and follow me." Like Christ, Gandhi had no possessions.
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