Bobby Jindal is an American politician who was the 55th Governor of Louisiana between 2008 and 2016, and previously served as a U.S. Congressman and as the vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Bobby Jindal was the first Indian American governor in U.S. history
Education and Conversion To Christianity
Born June 10, 1971 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as the first of two sons of Raj (née Gupta) and Amar Jindal, from Punjab, India, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal was raised in a Hindu household. He is of Indian descent and is a U.S. citizen by birthright. He converted to Christianity while in Baton Rouge Magnet High School.
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He had been raised by his Indian parents as a Hindu but was now weighing whether to convert to Christianity as he entered his senior year at Baton Rouge Magnet High School.
One night, Jindal accepted his best friend’s invitation to attend a Christian musical at LSU’s Chapel on the Campus. There, during the performance, he would write years later, he was overcome by the spiritual music and film images depicting Christ’s crucifixion. There, he wrote, “God chose that moment to reveal Himself to me.”
In time, Jindal accepted Christ as his savior and was baptized as a Catholic.
During his first year at Brown University, he was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church as an adult under the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). His family attends weekly Mass at Saint Aloysius Parish in Baton Rouge.
Today Jindal is a proud Christian, who calls himself an “evangelical Catholic,” but he didn’t begin life in the church. Before he was a Rhodes Scholar and a Brown University graduate at 20, he was the child of Hindu, Indian immigrants, born in Baton Rouge just a few months after his parents arrived. As a child, Jindal requested to go by “Bobby” instead of his given name “Piyush” — and as a teenager, he also began studying the Bible.
Jindal’s story of conversion is almost unheard of in the United States. In fact, four-in-five Americans raised as Hindus continue to identify as Hindus as adults (80%); no other major religious group has a higher retention rate, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. And none of the more than 35,000 Americans in the survey converted from Hinduism to Catholicism as Jindal did.
In 1997, Jindal married Supriya Jolly, who was born in New Delhi, India and moved to Baton Rouge with her parents when she was four years old. The two attended the same high school, but Supriya’s family moved from Baton Rouge to New Orleans after her freshman year.
They have three children: Selia Elizabeth, Shaan Robert, and Slade Ryan. Shaan was born with a congenital heart defect and had surgery as an infant. The Jindals have been outspoken advocates for children with congenital defects, particularly those without insurance. In 2006, he and his wife delivered their third child at home, with him receiving medical coaching by phone to deliver their boy.