More than 30,000 Christians have taken part in a huge prayer meeting in Hubli, Karnataka despite efforts by pro-Hindu groups to disrupt the gathering.
Hindu extremists blocked roads, burned tires and pelted vehicles with stones on the first two days of the three-day event to discourage people from attending, but failed.
The November 25-27 Jesus Christ Festival of Blessings was held at the Chelli Railway Colony ground in Hubli in which Christians from various denominations in Hubli and Dharavad took part.
On November 26, a meeting was held between Hindu and Christian leaders led by Pralhad Joshi, a member of parliament and Jagadish Shettar, a member of the state assembly.
Christian leaders gave assurances they would neither “belittle the Hindu religion nor attempt conversions, while Hindu leaders agreed to end their protests,” said Pastor Cedrik Jacob.
“Their antics attracted more people to the prayer meeting,” said Pastor Jacob, who is executive secretary of the Christian Minority Association of Hubli- Dharavad, which organized the event.
“On the first day there were around 25,000 people, on the second nearly 30,000 and on the final day more than 30,000 people were here,” he added.
Anil Kumar, the son-in-law of the former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Y.S. Rajshekar Reddy, was the main preacher at the gathering.