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Monday, June 5, 2023

Pastor sexually exploits betrothed woman and tries to marry another for dowry

Not long after a pastor from Kanyakumari sexually exploited a woman betrothed to him and dumped her later, another such incident has now come to light. A woman from an economically weaker family has accused a pastor of dumping her for dowry. The victim has accused Pastor Vijay, ministering as an assistant pastor in the Church of Glory, Tirunelveli of forcing himself on her on the pretext of marrying her.

It is unclear how they came into contact but their families met, conducted the engagement and it went as far as fixing the marriage date. When the talk of dowry arose the pastor’s family allegedly demanded 50 sovereigns of jewelry, car, home appliances, etc. However, the victim’s family politely made them understand their economically weak background and assured them that they will give 10-20 sovereigns. After this, pastor Vijay’s family told them that they’d consult and give an answer later.

Meanwhile, the victim and the pastor grew close through phone calls and other modes of communication. Marriage was fixed to be held sometime in May. But it was postponed due to the Chinese Virus induced nationwide lockdown. When the victim’s family contacted the groom’s family to fix a new date once relaxations were announced, again they demanded 50 sovereigns gold and 5 lakhs in cash in addition to the other things they demanded earlier. Even as the victim’s family implored Vijay’s parents to be understanding of their situation, they started looking for a new bride who could meet their demands.

They did find one and conducted Vijay and the new bride’s engagement in secret. However, Vijay called up the victim and lamented that he wants to marry her but his parents are planning to marry him off to someone else. He continued speaking with the victim and supposedly cried while preparations for his marriage with the other girl were going on.

Once he asked the victim to come to meet him in Tirunelveli in the pretext of wanting to speak with her about the issue. She traveled from Vellore to Tirunelveli, from one end to the other end of the state in the belief that the issue will be solved. 

There Vijay continuously tried to convince her that he loves her and is going ahead with the marriage only because of his parents’ compulsion. He promised under the oath of the Bible and told the victim that she would be the woman he’ll be marrying.

He then allegedly forced himself upon her and raped her. While parting he assured her that he would come to talk to her parents and find some way to start a new life. When she called pastor Vijay from Vellore a few days later, to her horror, he didn’t pick her calls and blocked her on social media.

But the victim was quick on her feet and filed her objection in the church where pastor Vijay and his new bride were to be married. Luckily the wedding was stopped thanks to her efforts but Vijay’s family started threatening her. When she went to the police to file a complaint on pastor Vijay she was made to run from pillar to post.

It took many visits to the office of the Police Commissioner to get the FIR filed as per the victim’s claims in her interview to the media. If the person who is entrusted with the duty of forgiving the sins of the laity commits such unforgivable sins, what kind of example would he be setting to the laity is the question that arises in the minds of the believers.

(Featured Image Source: Barani News)

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