A video has been doing the rounds on social media where the Christian evangelist Prof Rajendra Bihari Lal, vice-chancellor of the Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHUATS) in Naini, Prayagraj, is heard making misleading statements regarding the ongoing pandemic to encourage fallacious hopes in his ignorant followers.
Addressing a crowd, Bihari Lal, who is dressed in saffron with a Rudraksha mala around his neck, usually worn by Hindu sadhus, in the name of Jesus, ‘orders’ Coronavirus to leave. “In the name of Jesus, we scold the pandemic and demand it to end right away”, Bihari Lal says.
“We abolish your (Corona) authority”. Wherever you come from, we send you there in the name of Jesus. From today and this moment, from this time itself, this demonic power would leave the country,” the evangelist adds.
Speaking at “Yeshu Darbar”- the church of the Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHUATS), Bihari Lal says that the “evil spirits” of Coronavirus would leave only in the name of Jesus Christ. Basically what he tries to do is brainwash innocent people through its TV channel and instill superstition and fear in the minds of his followers that the only power which can save them from the pathogen is Jesus.
This Christian evangelist has made multiple such videos which are uploaded on his YouTube channel, where he preaches about the importance of Christianity. However, not everyone is aware that Lal, who has appeared in more than 400 such ‘inspirational’ videos, is accused in a multi-crore bank fraud scam.
In 2019, the Allahabad session court had rejected Rajendra B Lal interim bail and had sent him to jail. The FIR against the evangelist was registered on May 5, 2017, in which he was accused of cheating and criminal conspiracy regarding defalcation through illegal withdrawals from the accounts of SHUATS held with Axis Bank located at Civil Lines. The fraudulent withdrawals had run into more than Rs 23 crores between March 1, 2014, to November 31, 2016.
Christian evangelists use the pandemic to spread false propaganda
However, Rajendra Bihari Lal is not the only Christian evangelist who has tried to use the ongoing pandemic to peddle their propaganda. Recently, a complaint has been filed with the Ministry of Home Affairs against John Rose Austin Jayalal, the National President of the Indian Medical Association, seeking action against him for abusing his power and resorting to proselytization during the pandemic.
Last year, when people across the globe were dealing with the first wave of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Sundar Selvaraj, a Christian evangelist who owns ‘Angel TV’, had used his channel to fear monger and peddle false propaganda against the coronavirus vaccine.
He had claimed that the Coronavirus vaccine has an in-built chip. Instigating people against the vaccination drive, Selvaraj asked people to ‘run away from the vaccine’ as it has the ‘mark of the beast’.