India marvels at ‘miracle chapati’

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BBC, Nov. 16, 2002

Hundreds of Christian pilgrims and other curious onlookers have been making their way to a church in Bangalore in India to see a chapati which has the image of Christ burnt into it.

The chapati – a loaf of unleavened bread – is one of dozens that Shella Anthony bakes in her oven in Bangalore every day. But this one she thought was different.

Burnt into it was what looked like the image of the face of Jesus Christ.

Shella Anthony took the loaf to a local church and word spread like wildfire.

Church officials say nearly 20,000 Christians have already visited the Renewal Retreat Centre to pay homage in front of the chapati, which has now been mounted in a glass case, and to offer prayers.

Father Jacob George of the Renewal Retreat Centre is convinced it is a miracle.

Mixed feelings

“We believe in miracles. Devotees are feeling blessed on witnessing it,” he said.

Pilgrims have come from Bangalore and surrounding towns and villages, and it is not just Christians who have made the odyssey.

Hindus, too, have come to look at the eight-centimetre (five-inch) loaf.

Anil Philip, a young freelance journalist, says initially he was sceptical about the shape of Jesus emerging on the surface of a chapati.

“But after a couple of visits, I experienced a different feeling,” he said.”

“Christians are coming here out of devotion, the others are coming out of curiosity,” said Anil Philip.

BBC Delhi correspondent Adam Mynott says that while some believe it to be a miracle others have ridiculed the apparition as a load of eyewash.

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