Two teenage brothers were brutally beaten in church – one of them fatally – in an effort by their parents, sister and other members of the congregation to force them to confess their sins and seek forgiveness, police said on Wednesday.
Police Chief Michael Inserra said investigators are still looking into what the supposed sins were.
It was reports that Lucas and Christopher Leonard, 19 and 17, were pounded with fists Sunday at the Word of Life Church when a “counseling session” meant to explore their spiritual state turned violent, Inserra said. They were beaten in the abdomen, genitals, back and thighs, authorities said.
Lucas died and his brother was hospitalized in serious condition. Six church members – including the brothers’ parents and sister – have been arrested.
“Both brothers were subjected to physical punishment over the course of several hours, in hopes that each would confess to prior sins and ask for forgiveness,” Inserra said.
It seems the parents had been abusing these boys for a long time, but this time it went too far. Fanaticism under any guise, in any religion always has tragic consequences..