Missing pastor’s charred body found near Tamil Nadu border

Burnt Bibles from the attacks on Christians in Manipur. (Photo: Open Doors)

Police in Tamil Nadu have discovered the charred body of an Evangelical pastor who had been missing for about 10 days. The family identified the body by recognising his belt, shoes and glasses.

Pastor Abraham Parambil Thekkethil, of Vayalar Nagar Manthippara St. Thomas Evangelical Church, was found deceased near the Idukki-Tamil Nadu border, local media outlet Onmanorama reported, adding that his identity was confirmed by his son.

Forensic experts have claimed the death might have been a suicide.

The pastor is believed to have self-immolated using petrol. This theory is supported by the presence of an unburned arm, likely used to pour the inflammable liquid, and a nearby lighter. Tamil Nadu fingerprint experts also investigated the scene, according to the report.

A missing person report for Abraham was filed last Monday by the church’s head priest, identified only as Jijo. Abraham had been missing since the previous Monday morning.

Abraham, who leaves behind a wife and two sons, aged 27 and 24, had ventured into a business producing candles and frankincense, among other items, before the COVID-19 lockdowns. The pandemic severely impacted his business, leading to debts of nearly 2 million rupees. Although he received some financial assistance from friends and relatives, it was insufficient to clear his debts.

Abraham’s visits to his home in the Pathanamthitta area of the neighboring Kerala state were infrequent, occurring roughly every three weeks.

After various tests, including DNA analysis, Abraham’s remains will be released to his family, according to the report.

Courtesy of The Christian Post.