Trespass, Molestation and Assault , Tamil Nadu
Sis. Prathiba Stephen was conducting the worship in the absence of her husband who was ministering at another location. 2 elderly men and a few sisters were also present.
4 religious fanatics belonging to the Hindu Munnani Group, headed by Ajith, trespassed into a Pastor’s house, physically assaulted his wife, slapped and dragged her into the bedroom, molested and outraged her modesty. They also beat the elderly men and sisters, who had gathered to pray, twisting their arms behind their back and causing injuries.
The incident took place on Sunday, 08th July, around 10.00 am, at Paguthampalayam Village, Erode District, Tamil Nadu.
When Pastor Stephen returned at 1.00 pm, learning of the turn of events from his wife, informed his family members who accompanied Pastor Stephen and Sis. Prathiba to take a bus to the nearest Police Station. However, they were ambushed by the same group of men, who had gathered a mob of 20 others and mercilessly beat them up again.
Badly shaken and injured, Pastor returned to his house at 4.00 pm, and dialed #101 for an ambulance. When the Ambulance arrived, the same mob, watching the activities of Pastor Stephen’s family, dragged out all the persons from inside the ambulance. Already weak from the previous attacks, they were brutally beaten again. The Perpetrators then jumped into the ambulance and took off.
In the meantime, the Police were making every effort to arrest Pastor and his family, based on false allegations made by the perpetrators.
Desperately needing medical attention, at around 6.00 pm, Pastor and his wife escaped to another village on a motor bike and reached a local Government Hospital. Once again, the perpetrators learned about this and pursued them to the hospital. Gurusamy, district president of the Hindu Munnani, picked up a fight with the hospital authorities asking them not to admit the Pastor but to admit his men who he claimed were injured. The Hospital authorities were disinclined and reluctant after this, to admit them for fear of retaliation from the religious fundamentalists.
Having been subjected to severe beatings, cruel inhuman abuses, emotionally and physically exhausted, Pastor and his wife traveled around 75 kms, at 8.00 pm from Erode to Coimbatore, and finally managed to get themselves admitted in the Government Hospital at 10.30 pm, after using a lot of influence.
Narrating the incident to Persecution Relief from the Hospital, Local Church Leader, Pastor David Gunasekaran, Synod Secretary, Sathyamangalam Taluk, Tamil Nadu, said that a complaint has been lodged with the Police.
A counter complaint was lodged against Pastor Stephen and his family members by the Hindu Munnani Group.
Pastor Stephen Paul, ministers at ‘Jesus Power Ministries’ located adjacent to their home, build on their own personal land. Every Sunday, around 30 – 40 persons gather for worship service.
Church, please uphold Pastor Stephen Paul and his family members in your prayers.
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