01/15/2014, 00.00
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Bangalore, evangelical preacher Benny Hinn cancels visit

The American pastor made the decision in response to ongoing protests by some Hindu fundamentalist groups. Karnataka High Court pronouncement had rejected the appeal filed by some extremists and ultra-nationalist party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP ). Hinn was invited to a prayer conference, which began today.

Bangalore ( AsiaNews) - The evangelical preacher Benny Hinn has canceled his visit to Bangalore , for the Conference of Christian prayer , which begins today in the city. Despite the support of the High Court of Karnataka , the famous Christian pastor chose to decline the invitation , due to the vast and violent protests of some Hindu fundamentalist groups and the ultra-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP ) .

Hinn, an American pastor, is known for what he calls "miraculous healing crusades". He was supposed to attend the Conference of Christian prayer that in Bangalore (January 15 to 17 ) , organized by the Bethel Assembly of God Church . His last visit to India, in 2005, had already sparked protests from the Hindu fringe of national politics: Hindu extremists had threatened the organizers with "heavy retaliation". Even in this case, members of the fringe elements took steps to prevent its entry into the country.

According to the BJP and the associations belonging to the umbrella group of the Sangh Parivar , Hinn exploits his charisma and his " ability to heal " to convert people to Christianity. In one of the last organized protests against his visit, a Hindu holy man from Hubli (city in the north of the state) even attempted suicide, to convince the local government (led by Congress, secular party - ed) not to allow the entry of the preacher.

The event organizers have tried in every way to promote the participation of American pastor . At the news of his cancellation, P. Chamarajan , spokeswoman for the Bethel Assembly of God Church, said that his community "has the freedom to choose their guests and invite who we want. If we let those who are against us decide , what can we expect? " .

According to preliminary estimates, the conference should involve about 25 thousand people , compared to over 200 thousand in 2005. The small number is due to the fact that only Christians were invited to the meeting, and participation is free of charge . A decision the spokesman had explained, taken in order to avoid the complications of nine years ago. (NC)



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