Why is Pi interested in Christianity?

Quick answer:

Pi is interested in Christianity primarily because of its emphasis on love as the answer to every question. He is also intrigued by the speed with which the Christian faith operates, since it has a God who created the world in seven days and saves souls instantly.

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When Pi goes to Munnar in chapter 17, he has not yet learned much about Christianity or been inside a Catholic church. He only knows that Christianity has "a reputation for few gods and great violence. But good schools."

Pi becomes interested in Christianity first of all because of its emphasis on love. When he sees Father Martin in the church in Munnar, he observes:

He was a man whose profession it was to love, and he would offer comfort and guidance to the best of his ability. I was moved. What I had before my eyes stole into my heart and thrilled me.

Pi is perturbed by the story of Christ and his death in atonement for the sins of humanity. He tries and fails to imagine his father sacrificing him in a similar way. However, he is eventually convinced when Father Martin tells him that the reason for all the things he does not understand is love.

Another aspect of Christianity that intrigues Pi is the speed with which it operates. God created the world in seven days, and a soul may be won or lost in a moment. Pi compares Christianity with Hinduism in this respect, remarking that

If Hinduism flows placidly like the Ganges, then Christianity bustles like Toronto at rush hour. It is a religion as swift as a swallow, as urgent as an ambulance. It turns on a dime, expresses itself in the instant.

As soon as he has expressed these thoughts, Pi runs to Father Martin and announces that he would like to become a Christian. However, he does not renounce Hinduism but thanks Lord Krishna for having allowed him to find Jesus.

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