Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) - "My conversion was not a change of religion, but rather a radical change of heart," said Jason Jaysharmah, a Malaysian naval officer of Indian origin.
The reasons for this lie in his belief that he embraced "the one true faith" because "if Christianity was a religion among many," then "my sacrifices would not make sense." Instead, the forces of "truth and love pushed me to accept Christ" as "my Lord."
Once a staunch Hindu from a wealthy family in Malaysia, he decided to convert to Catholicism, following the path of Christian initiation for adults at the Church of the Divine Mercy in Shah Alam, capital of Selangor, one of the 13 states that make the Asian country.
The Catholic weekly Herald has already reported his story, from his first meeting with Christianity (out of love for a woman), until the decision to be baptised.
Jason Jaysharmah, a naval officer, is "proud of my identity as an Indian," and is "completely at peace with my Hindu cultural identity."
Although his family did not welcome his decision to embrace Catholicism, he made the choice freely. "No one pushed me or threatened with force," he said.
"My parents have never really accepted my choice," he explained, "and somehow feel hurt as if I had rejected them." Now, "I am happy that they respect my decision."
He comes from a wealthy family, and is employed in a well-paid profession.
His first encounter with Christianity is the result of the love for a Catholic woman he met in his hometown who will soon become his wife.
The eldest of three sons, he was "fascinated by religion" since he was little. However, the explanations he received from parents about the Hindu religion did not satisfy him. "I found myself wanting something more," he said.
He speaks about the Catholic faith as "a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, rather than a religion". For this reason, he describes his conversion "not as a change of religion, but rather as a radical change of heart."
This encounter took place two years ago "when I met for the first time my fiancée, a devout Catholic in my own hometown."
Their families consented to the marriage, even though the couple came from different religious backgrounds. But at that time, "I had no idea of becoming a Catholic," Jason said.
Over time, he came around reading the scriptures, delving into the Gospel and the Old Testament thanks to his future wife.
He joined a Christian initiation course for adults, but was unable to go beyond the introductory class because he was on active duty at sea.
Instead, his future wife took the course and told him about it during long phone conversations "while I was out in the open sea."
"She is my book of faith," he said.
During his sea voyages, he read the Bible, and watched movies about the life of Jesus, trying to figure out why others like him and before him decided to convert to Catholicism.
"However, my reasons were more of an intellectual nature," he explained. Only through the relationship with his fiancée and his personal experience of faith in daily life, did he grasp "the real reasons" that led him "to accept Christ as my Lord."