Clerics from the Pentecostal church at Kottarakara in the Kollam district of Kerala refused to conduct the funeral services of a young man who died in a road accident yesterday. Mathews Thomas aged just 31 had earlier fallen in love with a Hindu lady and married her. Church authorities consider this as his ‘crime’ and denied the family decent last rites.
Mathews and his family have been Pentecostal believers for years. Church authorities started hating them as soon as Mathews married the Hindu girl who had studied with him. Right now, the church leadership is of the view that the body will not even be allowed to enter the cemetery. Community leaders intervened and tried their best but the clerics refused to compromise.
Due to uncertainty over the funeral arrangements, the body was moved to the Taluk Hospital Mortuary. Mathews was a software engineer in Bengaluru and had come home for a vacation one month back. He was preparing to return to work when the unfortunate incident happened.
Christian bigotry has deeply hurt not just the deceased’s family but also locals. The stalemate caused by this inter-faith marriage continues.