The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Chaos on Benny highway on Second Day

January 23, 2005, 1:36 pm

BANGALORE
Deccan Herald News Service
Sunday, January 23, 2005

Some of those who said they benefited from the Benny’s healing touch did not feel it was necessary to authenticate their claims with medical proof.

Chaos reigned supreme on the second day of the “Festival of Blessing” prayer meeting at Jakkur. There was traffic congestion on all roads leading to the venue in the evening. People were put to severe hardships due to lack of proper traffic regulation.

The worst-affected were those who had come to the venue on wheelchairs. The swarming policemen had a harrowing time bringing order on the roads filled with tens of thousands of vehicles.

Soon after the Benny Hinn Prayer Meeting show ended for the day, the flood of humanity from inside the venue surged onto the parking lots.

Vehicle owners had a tough time locating their vehicles. Even several hours after 10 pm when the show ended (till late in the midnight), thousands of people could not take their vehicles away from parking lots.

Such was the state of confusion and chaos that even policemen, who were deployed in large numbers, could do very little. Organisers came in for flak. As a result of the traffic snarls outside, thousands of people remained stuck inside the venue. Amenities like drinking water and toilets were inadequate.

The increased turnout of people on the second day posed difficulties to the policemen and volunteers.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda along with his daughter and grandson Suraj attended the prayer meeting.

Union Minister of State for Shipping and Transport K H Muniyappa, Deputy Chairman in the Rajya Sabha Rahman Khan, Industries Minister P G R Sindhia, AICC General Secretary Margaret Alva, former BDA Commissioner Jayakar Jerome, former DG and IGP T Srinivasulu, Home Secretary Brahm Dutt were among the VVIPs who attended the meeting.

Among the evangelist’s admirers who did not attend the event was Mr H T Sangliana, Member of Parliament, as he is away in Indonesia.

During the healing session pastor Benny said, “Squeeze out your cancer in the name of Jesus Christ,” “Feel the presence of our Lord as He heals you of your sickness. People of God say Amen!”

Among the healed was Rosy Kutty from Delhi who had lost her vision in the left eye due to diabetes.

“My vision is restored,” she claimed. When asked to produce her medical records, she said she had left them at home. “We need no medical proof for healing. No surgeon could relieve me of my back pain. I was set free today,” said Ruby Sudarshan, who was reportedly suffering from back pain for the last few years.

No change

Later, speaking to Deccan Herald, Industries Minister PGR Sindhia said that he did not feel any change in him though he was witnessing “miracles” around him. When asked if he believed in them, he simply smiled. “Miracles need no medical records. It’s a matter of belief,” said former DGP T Srinivasalu.

Ms Margaret Alva said she believed in the “power of God and added, “miracles have always been happening.”

Former minister T John said that though he was surprised by the miracles, he did not rule out necessity of medical records to authenticate them.
Benny Hinn said that some people may feel electricity in them.

“Some of you may feel warmth, some may feel some kind of vibrations, some may feel overwhelming feeling of love.”

The evangelist said Jesus had asked him to accept money offerings from the people.

Unlike on Friday, Benny asked the ushers to collect money offerings from the audience.

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