The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha wants the Commissioner of Police to arrest American televangelist Benny Hinn, under the Summary Offences Act, as soon as he arrives in Trinidad for a second visit, the Inter Religious Organisation was told yesterday.
Devant Maharaj, who represented the Hindu religion in place of Maha Sabha general secretary Sat Maharaj, said he made the call when he was asked to elaborate on the Maha Sabha’s position on Hinn’s three-day crusade scheduled to start in Port of Spain on May 19.
The meeting was held at Archbishop House, Port of Spain, and among those present were IRO chairman Cyril Paul and Roman Catholic Archbishop Edward Gilbert.
Devant Maharaj said much of the discussions at the three- hour long meeting, which started at 3 p.m., centred on Hinn’s visit.
He said he told the meeting that the Maha Sabha was of the opinion that the police had been quick to arrest stage artistes under similar circumstances.
Maharaj was referring to Hinn’s first visit in 1999 during which the Maha Sabha felt that Hinn had attacked the national community by casting aspersions on Trinidad and Tobago as a land of voodoo and had painted it negatively with a primitive brush.
Other members of the IRO at the meeting could not be reached for comment.
Sat Maharaj said the Maha Sabha had set aside a budget of $100,000 to counter Hinn’s visit.
“We are not leaving his attack on Trinidad and Tobago alone,” Maharaj said.
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