American evangelist Benny Hinn will not attend a prayer meet organised by Bethel Assemblies of God in Bangalore from January 15th-19th, 2014 amidst protests from Hindu groups.
"Benny Hinn will not be taking part in the prayer meet which will be held in the City, stated a letter from the organisers addressed to the City police," said Kamal Pant, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Bangalore city.
"The prayer meet will be held as scheduled and the list of the names of the pastors attending it is mentioned. But Benny Hinn's name has not been included in the letter. The reason for Hinn not attending the meet is not mentioned," he said.
Earlier, the organisers expressed their gratefulness for securing necessary visas for all the guest speakers in the official website but have not explained why Hinn will not take part in the event.
Many Hindu groups and political leaders from Bharatiya Janata Party have demanded that Hinn be not allowed to participate in the prayer meet. And more than 2,000 of them have assembled in Bangalore last week to protest. One Hindu priest Pranavananda Swami from Hubli city in the state went far by trying to commit suicide if Hinn is not stopped by the state government. He poured kerosene oil over his body and drunk some of it. He was rushed and admitted to a hospital near by. Finally, among them, the Rama Krishna Sena challenged the inaction of the police to the High court.
A division bench of the Karnataka High Court ruled that none should disrupt the "religious gathering" of any groups.
The High Court also directed the city police to provide adequate security for the peaceful gathering of the 'Christian Prayer Conference'.
"Since Hinn is not coming, we will be using only the City police force to provide security," the Commissioner of Police also said.
The Christian Prayer Conference will go on without the evangelist. Other guest speakers include: Rev. Chris Oyakhilome, well-known evangelist from Nigeria, Rev. Paul Dhinakaran from Chennai, local evangelist Rev. M A Varughese and the host pastor Rev. Johnson V of Bethel Assemblies of God (AG) Church in Bangalore are scheduled to preach on the event January 15-19, 2014 daily from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily at the Supernova Arena and Convention Centre, Yehalanka Airforce Base in Bangalore.
Evangelist Benny Hinn not to attend prayer meet in Bangalore
Published 15 January 2014 | Babu Thomas