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Hindus Protest Baptist Booklet

November 8, 1999

HOUSTON (AP) _ More than 100 people protested outside one of the nation’s largest Baptist churches Sunday over a booklet that urges Southern Baptists to pray for Hindus’ deliverance from the ``power of Satan.″

``We want all people to understand that religious intolerance is rearing its head in this country,″ said Houston attorney Amit Misra, a leader of the coalition of local Hindu groups who organized the protest.

``Some people aren’t aware of the type of hate that is being preached by mainstream churches,″ Misra said.

The booklet, distributed during Divali, the major Hindu festival of lights, says Hindus have no concept of sin or personal responsibility and ``worship gods which are not God.″

``Pray that the darkness and the power of Satan will be broken,″ the guide says.

Similar guides have been distributed by the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board asking Baptists to pray for the conversion of Jews and Muslims, and a booklet focusing on Buddhists is planned.

``I think it is our God-given responsibility to pray for them to be converted,″ Second Baptist Church member Tara Imani said after speaking to a woman demonstrating outside the church.

``She asked me what I think about (the Hindu belief that there are) many paths,″ Ms. Imani said. ``I said that there is one path. If there were many paths, then (Christians) would be fools. If they were right, it would mean Jesus was a liar, God was a liar.″

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