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`I am here to pray and bless people'

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, JAN. 21. Claiming that two million people had gathered for the "Festival of Blessings" here on Friday, Benny Hinn, American evangelist, began the event saying that no one would leave without being transformed or touched.

Mr. Hinn led his 2,000-strong choir in singing a song in praise of Jesus Christ while his rapt audience raised their hands and closed their eyes. Tears rolled down Benny Hinn's cheeks as he repeatedly assured them that Jesus is alive and that he (Benny Hinn) "is here to pray and bless the people." "Miracles are going to happen tonight," he claimed.

Anthem

After leading the crowd in singing the national anthem, (the recorded song was played on the loudspeakers at the venue), he praised India and its people and prayed to God to bless the country. "Bless India and make Indians blessed to the world," he said.

The elevated, illuminated stage was a choir dressed in different outfits; one section in white and another draped in blue with white pinafores. To the left and the right of the stage, there were 70 giant screens, replaying the moments.

Since most of the gathering could not see the proceedings clearly, they watched the screens set up on the sprawling Jakkur airfield.

Delay

The programme, though scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., started at 7 p.m. The first 90 minutes were dedicated to songs praising Jesus Christ. A song went thus, "We believe in miracles as we believe in God."

Benny Hinn did not perform any "miracles". He occasionally referred to his earlier visit to India and the prayer festival he conducted in Mumbai.

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