In walks a little boy (Raj) in rags, carrying a runaway- from-home bundle. He keeps looking to the pavement and feeling his stomach. A girl walks by, carrying a whole load of buns, towards the church. He stares longingly. Suddenly he spies that one of them has fallen on the ground. He runs for it and grabs it — a happy smile on his face.
Out of nowhere come two ruffians. They walk up to Raj as he ’s about to bite into the bun.
Ruffian1 (grabbing hold of Raj’s hand): Give me that! Raj (grabbing at the bun): Give it back. it’s mine.
Ruffian2: So, new here eh?
(hits him on the head). Don’t you know the rules? Before you eat, ask us.
(Raj begins to weep)
R2: (boxing Raj’s ears) He won’t forget now.
R1: Let’s go.
(R1 and R2 leave, eating the bun. Raj goes and sits on the pavement, crying. Enter an
Christian youth worker, notices Raj and walks to him.)
Youth Worker (YW): Why are you crying? Are you hungry?
Raj: (wiping face) Yes.
YW: Come, I know where you can get some food.
(YW takes him to the church where people are distributing food (buns) to the poor. Raj gets some buns and eats happily)
YW (walks towards the pavement and sits. Raj sits beside him, still eating): Where have you come from?
Raj: Udaipur. I’ve run away from home.
Raj: I wanted to be rich. Like them (points towards the church). I don ’t want to be hungry.
YW: Oh look, the pastor is about to start his sermon.
(Raj hesitates, but then decides to go to the door and listen from outside)
(They go to the church door)
Pastor: Today, I want to tell you the story about a man who can fulfill our hunger.
(Reading from his pastor notes). Once upon a time, God was born on earth, as a man called Jesus. He came to show mankind how much he loved him. When he was 30 years old, he didn ’t eat for 40 days and nights! Can you imagine that!
(Raj shakes his head.).
Pastor: (continuing) Food stopped being important to him. Instead, he went around asking people to be good and to obey the only God. He had amazing powers. He healed the sick and made the blind to see. One day, he even multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish so that they could feed more than 5000 people! And whenever people asked him how he got the powers, he kept saying he was God’s Son. He taught that man is always hungry in his stomach but he was the bread of life. If anyway chose him, he would never be hungry in his heart. Many didn ’t believe him and were angry with him. Later those people nailed Jesus to a cross. Everybody thought he was dead. They buried him. But on the third day he rose again! In fact, even then some people didn ’t even recognise Jesus until he “ broke bread with them.”
Raj: (looking at the church congregation that is looking sleepy) Why are these Church people looking bored?
YW: They are bored because they don’t understand what it really means to be hungry,
and what Jesus was actually offering.
Raj: Hey I would like to know more about this Jesus.
(Enter Religious fundamentalist.)
Fundamentalist: Stop!!! You are forcing conversion!
YW: What? What are you talking about?
Fundamentalist: You are making converts by bribing them with food!
YW: I did no such thing. This boy was hungry, I gave him something to eat. I never
forced him to listen to the message. Plus, I never promised him more food, in fact the message was about how God is beyond our need for food. If he really wanted food he would have run away.
Raj: (raises his hand to say something) excuse me…
Fundamentalist: That’s forcing someone to become a Christian. You Christians are all alike … you bring people to food, then scare them about stories of heaven and hell, and then these poor people have no choice but to become Christians ….
Raj: Excuse me…
YW: I never asked him to become a Christian I just…
Fundamentalist: (to police) Arrest him…
Police: I’m sorry, at the moment I don’t have jurisdiction to…
Fundamentalist: (to mob) beat them!….
(Mob attacks and YW is hit, and the church building is destroyed.)
Fundamentalist: (to Raj) Now we’ve saved you. Why did you come here? Isn’t your religion good enough for you? Why do you need to change your religion? We ’re a peaceful religion, a peaceful people. It’s only these Christians who have made us take up arms! Come with us.
Raj: I don’t want to.
Fundamentalist: If you don’t come with us, there’s no place left for you to go.
(taken from email@example.com)