Even though Catholics make up only about 1.5% of the Indian population, they appear to be a strong and faithful group. And you’ll understand why when you hear what occurred when a Jesus statue in Mumbai, India, began leaking water.

The priest and Mumbai’s very active Catholic laity groups promoted the notion that water dripping from the feet of a statue of Jesus was a sign from God. Hundreds of believers flocked to the dripping cross, collecting and consuming “holy” drainage water that they thought would heal all ills.

But then this man appeared.

Sanal Edamaruku, the president of the Indian Rationalist Association, was invited to the Delhi studio of TV9, a Mumbai-based national channel, to speak on the matter. During the program, Edamaruku dismissed the chance of a miracle, but he couldn’t provide a scientific answer without conducting an investigation. The channel then called him to Mumbai to continue the investigation.

And he accomplished just that.


When he arrived, he carefully looked at a nearby restroom and the connected drainage system that ran beneath the cross’s concrete base. He discovered the pipe was clogged after removing some stones from it. Water from the clogged drainage system in the washroom had been transmitted via capillary action into the neighboring walls, the base of the cross, and the wooden cross itself. Water poured from a nail hole and trickled down the statue’s feet. Simply put, it was a sewage problem.

The Catholic community, however, was not pleased with Edamaruku’s answer. Charges have been filed against him under Section 295A of the Indian penal code by the leaders of two Catholic lay groups. A person is charged with “deliberately hurting religious feelings and trying malicious acts meant to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community.”

Edamaruku flew to Finland in self-imposed exile because doing so would have landed him in prison with no chance of bail.

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