Abolish Practice of Confessions in Churches: National Commission of Women

Published 30 July 2018  |  
AFP
The four priests have already been suspended, and denied the right to discharge ecclesiastical duties.

The National Commission of Women (NCW) has demanded to stop the practice of "confessions" in churches as it can lead to blackmailing of women.

The recommendations come in the context of a rape case against four priests of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church who have been accused of sexually abusing a married woman belonging to their church. The priests have blackmailed and abused the woman following her "confessions".

The NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said that the centre must initiate a probe to carefully study the increasing incidents of rape and sexual assaults in churches of Kerala.

"The priests pressure women into telling their secrets and we have one such case in front of us, there must be many more such cases and what we have right now is just a tip of the iceberg," she said, according to Hindustan Times.

In the recent case, the NCW has looked into the alleged sexual assaults against the woman and has sent its findings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and the DGP of Kerala and Punjab.

"The woman was socially harassed. She left her job after the incident as her photograph was circulated on social media. The two priests are at large and they need to be nabbed," said Sharma.

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