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.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I'm collecting money on behalf of Jesus: Benny Hinn

by Kiran Konaki
Friday, January 21 2005 14:58 Hrs (IST) - World Time -

Bangalore: A so-called crusader led a two-day crusade a few years ago at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain in which he said, "I cast out more devils than I think I've done in a long time. I mean they were screaming everywhere."

He went on to state that he converted mostly Hindus, which make up 30 percent of the population (of an African country), during his crusade.

The alleged crusader says, that all idol worshippers - Hindus - are followers of prostitution, black magic and many more filthy expressions.

Discuss this topic

Now, who is this so-called crusader?

Benny Hinn is his name, who claims to be the mystic healer, with whom Jesus allegedly speaks and who collects money on BEHALF of Jesus!!!

Benny was born in Israel, but several times has made claims of being Greek, Arab and other nationalities, what ever he felt was necessary at the time.

He immigrated to Canada and went to school in Toronto. Benny (who has no formal theological training) has apparently based his style on another questionable "faith healer" Kathryn Kuhlman.

He first started his Christian ministry in Toronto in the 1980's, branched into the very lucrative television market in the 1990's and in the last couple of years has branched out to the world.

Benny has a collaborator, named Pastor Paul Crouch, who is the head of Trinity Broadcasting Corporation (the largest Christian broadcasting network), who has asked his viewers (followers) to donate money generously and he said that the network needs Eight million US dollars to spread the Gospel throughout India and SAVE One billion souls from damnation.

Several Christian churches have called him a con man, a cheat who fleeces money from gullible people and his promise to people is that he will show Jesus alive (physical manifestation) on the stage, that too, during his discourse.

Few Examples:

A few examples of his cheating tricks and their results;

Benny Hinn preys on the most vulnerable and desperate people of society, the ones that medical science can no longer help, and worst yet the gullible. In a CBC program 'Witness', out of the 78 or so miracles that Benny claimed, he only gave out five addresses for a follow up.

Three of them are:

# The gentleman who was hurt in an industrial accident and had limited painful mobility of his legs, Benny made the claim that he was one of the healings, but a follow up showed that he was worst off than before he went to Benny.

# A second and more tragic was a woman with lung cancer, again Benny made the claim that she was healed and paraded her around on stage, she died later.

# The most tragic and the most despicable was the tragedy of the Prakashs family, a family that converted from Hindu to Christianity for the sole purpose of getting God and Benny to heal their dying son from a brain tumour. Benny agreed to bring the wheel-chaired boy upon the stage to be prayed for, (in normal circumstances, you will never see obvious deformities or medical problems paraded in front of the flock, they are much harder to manipulate), he also told the parents to expect a miracle. After the show, Prakash, the boys father, stated that God spoke to him during the service, and that he was going to send Benny $ 2000, seven weeks later the boy was dead.


Benny Hinn is conducting a three-day 'Prayer Meeting' at Jakkur Airfields, Bangalore beginning from Jan 21 to Jan 23, 2005. The event is being organised by "Festival of Blessings".

In spite of several representations, which opposed the discourse, Chief Minister Dharam Singh has categorically stated that the discourse will go on.

The first sings of protest actually was ignited by some pamphlets distributed and circulated by the organisers and Hinn's followers, which described idol worshipping is similar to prostitution and black magic.

The Hindu Jagran Manch supported by Bharatiya Janata Party protested against this blasphemous write-ups and filed cases against the organisers as wells as the State Government.

The BJP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad have given an ultimatum to the Government of Karnataka to ban the event, failing which they have threatened to launch a massive protest in Bangalore on January 21. Interestingly, BJP MP and former DIG H T Sangliana has confirmed his participation in Benny Hinn's prayer meeting.

A few Hindu religious Mutts, namely Murugarajendra Mutt, Sringeri Shankara Mutt and Vokkaligara Mutt held a dharna (sit-in) to oppose this large-scale conversion attempt in the garb of spiritual discourse. Whether they will succeed in stopping this veiled misdemeanour or whether Benny will continue his conning stunts? wait and see!

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