In some cases, yes. In others, no.
In general, belly dance is a form of religion. In addition to the basic “God bless you” or “God be with you” prayers, there are many other prayer requests which we find within belly dance. As mentioned above, in many cases, when people say God blesses them (even without being told so) and is with them, they also say “please” or “thank you,” “love me,” “I love you,” etc. These are examples of “the sacred nature of belly dance.” Even though belly dance is not the main religion of most Christians, some Christians do use this as a way to express their worship.
But belly dancing is not a religious practice, according to most evangelicals. They think belly dance is merely dancing, and it is completely harmless. As one religious leader, quoted in the book, Christian Belly Dance’s Guide to Ministry, told me, “The Lord blessed us and blessed us with belly dances because He loves us through them. They allow us to be in love with Him.” (page 7).
While many evangelicals may understand what they hear from pastors when they say “God loves us through belly dancing,” the reality is that belly dance is a sin, in the eyes of so many Evangelicals. Because, as I have written before, belly dancing is a celebration of the body, and since many Evangelicals do not want their wives to feel a sense of being in relationship with their husbands, body worship is an important part of Christian marriage. The Bible says that God wants us to be in relationship with the man to whom we are married, “And I will make thy mouth the tongue of thy hand, and thy feet the feet of thy seat” (Prov. 9:25). And so, a wedding party must revere the bride and glee over the wedding cakes, and it is important for the church to celebrate the spiritual aspects of this sacred ceremony with body worship.
In a survey of pastors of different denominations in America by Belly Dance World and the Heartland Bible Church, many pastors agreed with me when I said, “The Bible says ‘He loves us through belly dancing. It’s so important, and it’s so beautiful.'” Most of the pastors in these two survey were not in “Christian belly dancing denominations” (that is, groups which emphasize church participation in a non-traditional way, and use body-worship as a way of expressing this faith). However
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