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Posted at: May 16, 2019, 6:54 AM; last updated: May 16, 2019, 2:57 PM (IST)

‘Christian deras’ in poll mode now, tell which parties to back

‘Christian deras’ in poll mode  now, tell which parties to back

Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, May 15

The new Pentecostal churches that recently became very popular and started working like Christian deras in Jalandhar are emerging as centres to sway the voters, it seems.

Haryana-based Jat-origin Pastor Barjinder Singh, who has his church at Tajpur village on Nakodar road, has been telling followers that he predicts a return of Narendra Modi as PM. The associates of Pastor Harpreet Deol, who has his church at Khojewal in Kapurthala, however, have placed their bet on Rahul Gandhi. The most popular Pastor, Ankur Narula, a Khatri Hindu, has good ties with both the BJP and Congress and has so far not spoken in anyone’s favour. 

All the three churches have been attracting followers from among the Dalits, rural masses and the downtrodden over the past few years by claiming miracle healing in their “satsangs”, often held on Thursdays and Sundays. They have also been telecasting their programmes on social media. 

In a recent programme, Pastor Barjinder said:  “Aap ke desh ke agle pradhan mantri Narendra Modi ji honge. Sare bole Hallelujah! Aapko dikhega ke nahi jeetne wale yeh, magar jeet jayenge (The next PM will be Modi. Everyone say, ‘Praise the Lord.’ It may seem he might not win, but he will).” 

The video already has 16K shares on YouTube.

Dr Paul Dhinakaran, a Tamil Nadu-based Pastor who organised “Jesus Calls Ministry” at the foundation day programme of Pastor Harpreet Deol in Jalandhar last month, has indirectly been prophesying that Rahul Gandhi will be the next PM. In videos available on YouTube, he says, “Let us discuss India’s governance in 2019, how is it going to be? The present leaders, who are known to everybody, shall be quietened in 2019 by the Lord. Young leaders with forward-looking principles and plans for progress shall be placed in authority in the nation in 2019.” 

Ankur Narula is learnt to have had a meeting with BJP leader Hans Raj Hans and posted his picture with him on social media. About two months ago, Narula had invited Congress minister OP Soni at the inauguration of a coaching centre for IAS training that he started in Jalandhar. Soni had showered praise on Narula.   

In another twist to the ongoing developments, a youth who calls himself Brother Francis, too, has been using a YouTube channel called Glory Apologetics against the local pastors. In one of his popular videos titled “False prophecy alert and advice”, he says that the prophecy of either Pastor Barjinder or Pastor Dhinakaran has to be wrong because only Modi or Gandhi can be PM. He tells his viewers to use their own discretion in casting their vote and not fall in any one’s trap. 

Meanwhile, the Bishop House, which is known to organise an event for SAD with Sukhbir Badal as the invitee before almost all elections, has not conducted any such programme this time perhaps owing to its own ongoing controversies. Punjab population comprises 1.1 per cent Christians.

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