Skip to comments.Pastor held for sexually exploiting minor girls
Posted on 06/24/2011 11:24:19 AM PDT by Cronos
The poor girls came to the centre to study, but were abused by the person in charge of their teaching and protection. Over 25 minor girls, who had been visiting the Bethel Student Centre since they could not afford the high cost of education, were sexually exploited by 45-year-old pastor K. Shantharaju. The fear of reprimand by the church made them keep quiet and suffer the ignominy in silence.
The pastor's shameful behaviour came to light recently after his wife Priyalatha made the shocking discovery. She has filed a police complaint against him and accused him of being a paedophile. The accused, who was on the run, was arrested on Saturday. "Pastor Shantharaju of Bethel Church, who has been absconding after his wife Priyalatha registered a complaint against him, was apprehended while he was in transit," the police said. Shantharaju was the pastor of the Bethel Church in Jalahalli, north Bangalore. The church was established 20 years ago by Shantharaju's father. The first such reported incident in Bangalore has left the Christian community here shocked.
"This is a serious case. He has denigrated the noble profession of teaching. Besides, he is a priest. How could he exploit young children? We will take action against him," Karnataka's Home Minister R. Ashoka said. Shantharaju allegedly sexually abused more than two dozen minor girls since 2004. Priyalatha claimed that though she had brought the matter to the notice of the eminent people in the Christian community, no action was taken against her husband. "I was compelled to approach the police after he threatened me and my daughters with dire consequences if I revealed anything about his misdeeds with the minor girls to anyone," she added.
Three girls have admitted to the police that they were sexually abused by Shantharaju. A girl, who has studied at the centre, made a statement to the police that the pastor would take a few girls to his chamber after the evening class ended around 8.30 pm. "He would spend some time inside with a girl, having instructed the others to stand guard. We knew what transpired inside but were afraid of taking on the pastor," she said. Another 17-year-old girl told the police that she stopped visiting the centre after Shantharaju tried to molest her. She even told her parents of the pastor's behaviour, she said. According to the police, Shantharaju was in the habit of taking pictures of the minor girls on his mobile phone. "There are several photographs of him posing with the girls. We are summoning these girls as part of the investigation," a police officer said.
The Christian community leaders are planning a series of actions as part of the damagecontrol exercise. "We will conduct an independent investigation. This incident has seriously dented the community's image," a parish priest said.
Yes, we need to all work together against this
What denomination, I wonder?
It's like when the born-agains in Mangalore published and distributed pamphlets that called hindu deities demons. The hindus extremists then targetted the Christian houses of worship -- you got it, Catholic Churches...
Curiosity. It seems like a basic detail that got left out.
Evidently, since it is a native Christian in India.
I’m not sure you guys are doing the Lord’s work to bring up every obscure Christian negative from all over the globe and spread it onto the internet here.
Hold the feet to the fire, and publish the name of every person who refused to do anything BEFORE the law intervened.
If the faithful do this, ecclesiastic hierarchies who should have been doing the right thing anyway will come back in line.
These people should have been moving on their own to make these girls (and boys evidently from another article) whole.
I don’t know know, which global church is this story about, is it like the Italy based Catholic church under one leadership, and a single authority, in other words a single organization, or is this just posting about Christians in general?
The press is in a quandary. They "know" that there is a "culture of corruption" in organized religion but every teacher offender is an "isolated case".
Don’t start stalking me, all of a sudden you slammed posts to me on 6 different threads and a freepmail, four of those threads, I never even posted on.
Just post to me on this thread if you have something to say.
“Damagecontrol exercise” doesn't quit sound like a good thing to me. It seems to me the bigger concern here is the image of the Christian community rather then the plight of the girls.
You are saying its âobsureâ and thus should not be worthy of mention on the Internet because it happened somewhere far way in India? We should speak of such negatives only if it is committed by people of other religions? Isn’t that hypocrisy?
That’s what I said, do not stalk me, I will choose my own threads to post on.
The moderators have already spoken.
You mean attacking Islam and not attacking Christianity is hypocritical? For who, and why is that a problem for you anyway?
This is about a Born-Again pastor.
Then your posts are hypocritical — they appear on this thread but not on the previous. I really did think you were different, ah well..
So this is just a negative story from India about Christianity in general, not about a member of the leadership of a specific international church with a single authority that can change a policy, or procedures for their global leadership personnel.
Man, what have I done to set you off, what is all this personal attack, and baggage, and cross thread stuff about?
I made a reasonable post on this thread, I did not think that I was stepping into some kind of angry alligator swamp.
Not one protested this obsession.
Then I posted some to show that we all face these problems and I saw your post
Personally I am OK with Christians attacking Islam and Scientology, on a conservative American forum.
I guess you see the difference between revealing the warts within a specific organization that people can influence to impose changes on it’s global leadership cadre and policies, versus just finding and trumpeting every wart on the globe that we can attach the label Christian to.
My post was not about Islam or Scientology. I never mentioned any of those. It was about hypocrisy. Read again.
Yeah, I don’t understand why it is hypocritical for Christians to knock Islam, why do you think that it is.
But this is not a “specific organization” — this is my faith. The “revealing the warts” is fine if one guy posts once, but an obsession? No, that is an attack on Christian beliefs
There isn’t really a difference if one uses the criminals to paint all members of the religious block in the same light. I don’t like it when this pastor is considered as representative of all of us Christians, nor do I like it when folks use the criminal priests from the 70s to pain a sub-set of Christians - Catholics in the same way
So you would want us to believe that the only "specific" organization that people can influence is the one you don't belong to? Does that mean that you consider scrutiny of non-Catholic organizations and their clergy, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of abuse, to be a wasted effort?
The administration of the church is not your faith, and I have no idea about how many times people post, or are supposed to post about decades long, at least partly avoidable, issues, that affect children in this nation and globally so much and so tragically.
When a problem can be stopped by turning up the publicity heat, maybe people feel driven to try. Maybe some are just venting at what they see as institutional indifference, or worst.
I don’t get involved in that stuff much, if at all.
I don’t belong to a church.
Similarly, it is wrong for some to use some criminal priests to paint us Christian-Catholics and our Christian-Catholic faith as wrong.
I wouldn’t know, I have rarely seen any of those threads.
I noticed this one because it was about India.
Children are a gift from God.
They are precious little ones.
The parables about stewardship apply to the church, in care for those not yet mature.
Children are not chattel, for the lusts of adults. These things need to be stopped cold when they happen, and those who were hurt need to be made whole - by the Church freely, good heartedly, in recognition of the admonitions and desires of God, not because some court finally made us.
I post on most threads that appear about rape and sexual abuse.
If the Perpetrator is a cop, there are people who show up saying people only care because it was law enforcement.
If it is a teacher, there will be people who say it would be no big deal if it weren't a teacher.
If it is religion or denomination X then people of that persuasion show up whining that they are singled out.
Frankly, I don't care who it was, I want it exposed to the light rather than hidden away, and I want anyone who attempted to sweep it away brought into the light as well.
I want it to stop.
We live in a fallen world, and maybe what I wish won't come to pass in this age. None the less I shall strive for it.
It is if folks obsessively post only this...
Obsessive, what did the Mormons do wrong now???
whichever way, it is incorrect to use it to attack the doctrines of Christianity due to the failures of some pastors
They let Marie Osmond get chubby. Man, I remember her in the 80s when I was a kid — she was cute...
I was “a little bit country” crazy too. Damn cute!
Here is a little thing that some tortured souls listen to.
It is primitive, and American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UxsEwco3t8
I would rather interact with Christians than you, but thanks any way.
Oh, don’t worry, I’m Christian — I don’t know if you prefer interacting with non-Christians or not, but that’s your choice.
If you are making this just about me, ok, go ahead, I as an individual don't matter not one bit, not one iota, what matters is God's providence and plan.
Always God, not self
Hardly “mine” — a thread is a thread. I didn’t write this, just pointed it out.
Criminal, Criminal, criminal, little children, bull.
Nature its self should tell any one that a 40 year old man or a 20 year old or a 75 year old man should not be teaching 17 year old girls, the Bible plainly says that the older women should be teaching them.
Why do people feel that they have to turn into liars to be able to call them selves Christians?
There is such a thing as self control, but its like putting a bag of candy in front of a depression era child and then spanking the hell out of it if it can not resist it.
Did Jesus build his Church to preach the gospel or did he just build the Church to do its own thing?
The men who lead the religious organizations should be well aware of the nature of man and not put temptation in front of men, which shows that much of the Church doctrine comes from women who do not understand the nature of man.
If they are going to preach the Gospel, why don,t they preach the gospel and leave every thing else alone?
The Gospel, Matt,Mark,Luke and john.
Yes this hits every one, The Church was set up to preach the Gospel, the focus should be on the Gospel but it has become on the Church instead.
d not put temptation in front of men, -- yes, we guys are animals, but isn't being Christian trying to rise above this animal instinct?
There is a middle path between Germany (half-naked women) and Saudi Arabia.