The past couple of weeks have seen multiple reports of misconduct and sexual exploitation. The perpetrator in this case is a pastor. This is not the first time a pastor is involved in an incident of sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse by pastors in the past has been a widespread issue in many countries, and has caused significant harm to many victims. These incidents have often involved pastors who have used their power to exploit vulnerable individuals.
Some high-profile cases of sexual abuse by pastors in the past include the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. It involved thousands of victims and resulted in widespread public outcry and calls for accountability.
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The pastor sexually abused and harassed female churchgoers including minors, and the victims have written to Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, seeking action against the pastor and his illegal NGO. One of the victim’s grandmother had lodged a complaint, leading to his arrest last year. However, the victims allege that the pastor continues to run the church and has encroached on government property to build it.
Last year, Sherard sexually harassed three Dalit girls and one Muslim girl who resided in the church. They recorded his confessions in court.
Earlier, an old woman had accused the pastor of separating her daughter-in-law and two granddaughters from her. He also sexually abusing them, but the police did not take any action. Amy, a social activist, and the victims’ relatives have sent a petition to Home Minister Amit Shah requesting him to direct the authorities to fast-track the investigation. Further they want to revoke Sherard’s Indian citizenship, as he is a Sri Lankan and stands accused under POCSO.
In another case, at a church in Rajapalayam, 49-year-old J Josephraja raped a 16-year-old girl. The girl was partially mentally challenged and physically disabled. The victim, who used to attend the church with her mother, went to the premises in search of her mother. The pastor sexually assaulted her on the church premises.
Before passing the verdict, the pastor’s wife filed a bail plea at the Madras High Court and requested to quash the detention order passed under the Goondas Act. The pastor’s counsel argued for bail. He claimed that he was not a habitual offender and that it was a solitary offence. However, the court rejected the plea, stating that the pastor committed the offence despite being duty-bound to care for every member of the church. This act had the potential to create panic in the minds of those associated with the church.
Sexually deprived Catholic priests sworn to celibacy and pastors from other denominations regularly prey on innocent children. The ones with a huge following and wealth believe they can get away with the help of influential connections, while the less influential ones are emboldened by the minority appeasement policies of the establishment. However, this cannot hold on any longer. This duplicity needs to be exposed to the public!