A renowned rationalist in India was reportedly forced to flee his country after being charged with blasphemy for debunking a Jesus miracle.
The Guardian reports that Sanal Edamaruku visited Our Lady of Velankanni in Mumbai, where a statue of Jesus Christ had been leaking water – and spoiled the worshipper’s excitement by declaring that the condensation was coming merely coming from a leaky pipe in a wall behind the statute.
Edamaruku was accused of blasphemy, a charged that carrie a three-year prison term upon conviction. He eventually fled to Finland after receiving death threats, the newspaper reports.
He is now calling for European governments to press Indian officials to dropping the case.
"There is a huge contradiction in the content of the Indian constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and the blasphemy law from 1860 under then colonial rule," Edamaruku told the Guardian.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Catholic archbishop of Mumbai, has reportedly told Edamaruku that the charges will be dropped if he publicly apologizes. But Edamaruku rejected that offer, claiming he did nothing wrong.