A BJP functionary was assaulted by a pastor for questioning conversion activities under the pretext of conducting Vacation Bible classes in Tamil Nadu. The pastor pelted stones at the BJP men as a result of which the functionary sustained injuries on his head.
BJP cadre came to know that conversion activities were going on in NGO Colony, Aruppukottai in Virudhunagar district. Suresh, a BJP cadre, went to the house where pastor Joshua Kannan was conducting prayers. It is alleged that the pastor alon with 7 other men and women, used Vijayalakshmi, his church worker’s house, to conduct Vacation Bible classes for Hindu children.
When BJP cadre Suresh questioned about the pastor’s motives the pastor reportedly attacked him. Suresh informed Bhoologa Raj, Aruppukottai Mandal President, who arrived with other cadres. The pastor had an argument with him as well and started attacking Bhoologa Raj. He threw a stone at Raj as a result of which sustained a severe injury and started bleeding profusely.
Pastor Joshua beat the BJP cadres to the government hospital and claimed that he was attacked first. Bhoologa Raj told Vikatan, a Tamil media that “Efforts to convert non-Christian children under the pretext of Summer classes giving Bible lessons have been on for a longtime. Children were made to kneel and read the Bible in this case. It is wrong to force children to read the Bible. Moreover, the parents of these children don’t know about this. When our cadre wanted to film it to use as evidence he was attacked. When I went to inquire, pastor Joshua Kannan attacked me as well”.
He further said that they only asked the pastor to apologise for attacking their cadre and talked to him politely. But the pastor started escalating the issue and attacked them with stones. Bhoologa Raj alleges that after seeing him bleeding profusely the pastor hurried to the hospital to claim that he was attacked first.
Meanwhile the pastor says that he went to church worker Vijayalakshmi’s house to conduct the 40th day rituals of her dead father. He claimed that they provided food as part of the ritual and called the children to serve them. He accepted that he was conducting prayer when BJP cadre came to the spot. He alleged that BJP cadres followed him and he had a scuffle with them. But he didn’t sustain any injuries.
In between cops were informed about the incident and they tried to pacify both sides. From the account of events the pastor’s version that he was followed and attacked appears to be fake. But both parties have filed complaints and deployed more forces to prevent any untoward situation.
With the pro-Christian DMK in power, Christian priests seem to feel emboldened enough to assault those who question their nefarious activities. Recently, sexual abuse victims of a Pentecostal pastor wrote letters to Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman alleging inaction by TN police and other authorities in investigating the pastor and seizing his church.
An IAF officer had to submit a petition to the district collector after exhausting all options to take action against a pastor encroaching government land adjacent to his house and harassing his family. Last year a group of Christian priests conducted a conference in which they passed a resolution demanding that the DMK government should ‘crack down’ on Hindu activists and allow them to plant churches freely.
It is to be kept in mind that Christian priests have been repeatedly saying that DMK came to power with their help. The DMK government has also endorsed their statement with the CM himself saying that his “government was installed by them(Christians)”.