World-renowned evangelist and prophet Pastor Bernard
Blessing was restrained from preaching at a convention
organised by Pentecostal groups in Thiruvananthapuram,
Kerala. The meetings, which were to be the largest ever
public gathering the city has ever seen, were scheduled
from 2 to 4 November 2009.
The Ghana-based preacher who was to address a three-day
gathering at Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium was prohibited
from speaking after Hindu groups pressured the police
citing visa norms.
Thiruvananthapuram police commissioner M.R.Ajith Kumar
told media that Blessing had come on an x-visa (entry
visa), and this does not permit “any right to make
religious preaching”. Blessing was, however, permitted
to attend the event but not speak.
The hullabaloo over Blessing’s presence came after Hindu
outfits raised several allegations on ‘conversion’ and
‘disturbing peace’. As a result, at the last minute, the
evangelist was barred from preaching and given a
Hindu outfits also created a tense situation in the
city, even blockading the vehicles ferrying believers to
On the second day of the crusade, protests against
Bernard Blessing’s presence in the city spilled into the
streets with Hindu organisations taking out a march to
his prayer meeting. They engaged in a minor scuffle with
the police near the State Central Library even as
Blessing led “a packed prayer meeting” at the
Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium.
The protest march started at 7.30 p.m. but the police
blocked it before it reached the venue. Later, the
police also arrived at the prayer meeting, after which
Blessing returned to the Mascot Hotel where he was
“We will examine his speech to see whether there is
anything objectionable in it. If there is, we will file
a case,” City Police Commissioner M.R.Ajith Kumar said.
Bibi George Chacko, director of Harvest Television and
Production, which organised the convention claimed that
the African minister was not objected from preaching
last year in Kochi. But, now the police demand that
Blessing obtain a clearance from the Ministry of
External Affairs to address religious gatherings.
A notice has been issued both to the organisers and
Blessing who is scheduled to attend similar meetings in
two other cities. The police commissioner also warned
that if rules were violated, a case would be registered
under Section 14 of the Foreigners’ Registration Act.
According to the coordinator of the event, Dennis Jacob
Kodakeril, the convention brings together the country’s
prominent Christian leaders and was organised for the
state’s peace and harmony. “We have no ulterior motive
other than praying,” he says.
The organisers have debunked the allegations of
conversion against Blessing. This is the second visit of
Blessing who has been to over 100 countries with the
Blessing who is the president of Rescue Life
International is “regularly sought by world leaders for
godly wisdom and prophetic insights on matters of
Before you bring in a "foreign" preacher