Louisiana governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal shared with thousands of people at his national prayer rally Sunday how he converted from Hinduism to Catholicism, and urged prayers for America's spiritual revival as well as President Obama and his family.
Jindal, who has described himself as an "evangelical Catholic," prayed for a spiritual revival to "begin right here, right here in our hearts" as he opened the six-hour prayer rally, "The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis," at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the home of the Louisiana State University basketball team, in Baton Rouge.
The two-term Republican governor, who was holding his Bible, shared his testimony for about 15 minutes, according to The Associated Press.
He told the crowd of more than 3,000 people how he, though raised a Hindu, became a Christian while a teenager living in Baton Rouge.
He said evangelist Billy Graham helped inspire him to become a Christian, according to The Times-Picayune. He recalled turning up for Graham's mass prayer rally in LSU's Tiger Stadium in 1970.
Several people had earlier tried to convert him but it didn't hit him until he heard Graham and watched a black and white film on Jesus's death on the cross, he said. "God chose that moment to hit me harder than I've ever been hit before," he was quoted as saying.
"Today is about humbling ourselves before the Lord. Today we repent for our sins," Tampa Bay Times quoted him as saying.
Jindal emphasized that America not just needs a good leader, but a spiritual revival. "We can't just elect a candidate to fix our country. … We need a spiritual revival to fix our country."
He also asked the crowd to pray for Obama and his family.
Asked later about his 2016 presidential run, Jindal said, "We're praying and thinking about what to do next," and added it might take "a couple of months" to make an announcement about his possible run.
"Who is president next is less important than what that person has to offer," Jindal said. "My decision will be based on whether I can bring something unique. ... It would be based on political consultants or polls."
He also said the prayer rally was "not a political event. It's a religious event."
Meanwhile, about 400 people protested outside the prayer rally, as the event's host, American Family Association, has been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "hate" group because of its alleged promotion of "discrimination" against gays.
As Jindal weighs his potential candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, there are quite a few viable, Christian, social conservative candidates that are trying to earn and possibly unite the Evangelical support behind them, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; former Arkansas Governor and Southern Baptist pastor Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson; former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum; and former Texas Governor Rick Perry.