A recent attempt to baptize and convert Hindus to Christianity has been thwarted by Sharan Bhagwath and his team from the Karnataka branch of a advocacy group fighting for equal Hindu rights, known as the Hindu Defense League. Bhagwath and team were notified that a pastor (unconfirmed) by the name of Sammy James from HSR Layout, Bengaluru was visiting Iddrahalli area in Gudibande (Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka).
It all began with a lunch invitation to locals (Our estimated count: 70 attendees). The pastor started repeating John 17:3 from the New American Standard Version of the King James Bible (1995) as he went into a concocted trance:
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Mr James would grab on to his attendees, close his eyes, and say: “Jesus will protect you. From now onwards, pray to him”. When asked by Sharan Bhagwath and members of the press as to what his business in Gudibande was, the pastor replied in a shaky tone: “We are here to discuss social issues like Rape and Poverty”.
Those who witnessed both the concocted act by the pastor and the exchange between Mr Bhagwath and him can corroborate that the pastor went in to denial mode when caught in the act of trying to convert by deception. Sammy James and his entourage began to quickly pack their items and make a run for it in their hired coach bus. However, Mr Bhagwath and team would have none of it. They would not let this deceitful man escape with his entourage without assurances that they will not return to the area ever again for missionary purposes.
Mr James was made to disembark from the bus and offer his sincere apology to the public that he was trying to trick in to joining Christianity. He also said that he would not return to this area again. In the aftermath of this exchange between Mr James and Mr Bhagwath, the Hindu Defense League team removed the Cross from the makeshift Church that Mr James was using as his base in Gudibande.
What many can learn from this thwarted event is that one does not require violence to solve a problem. When faced with facts and a responsible civil society, those who have dubious intentions will be exposed and stopped.