Religion

Pastor, Assistant Remain In Custody As Police Frees Rescued 77 Members Of Ondo Church 

Rita Enemuru, Reporting

The Ondo State Police Command has released the children and other members rescued last Friday at The Whole Bible Believers Church in Ondo City of Ondo State.

The children and teenagers were released to their parents by the police, Stonix News learnt on Monday.

The Public Relations Officer of the state’s police command, Funmilayo Odunlami, made the disclosure on Monday.

Odunlami, however, said that the two pastors in charge of the church were still in police custody, adding that the church has been sealed to prevent arson by aggrieved members of the public.

According to her, the pastor and his assistant are still being investigated to get to the root of the matter.

Stonix News recalled that following a petition to the police command, operatives arrested David Anifowose and Peter Josiah, the Pastor and Assistant Pastor of the Whole Bible Believers Church for allegedly hypnotizing the 77 members of the church.

The police said concerned parents and family members of the church had complained over alleged denial of access to their underaged children and wards.

Acting on the petition, the 77 people, including 23 underaged and 54 adults, were ‘rescued’ from the den of the cleric who allegedly claimed that they were being kept for special cleansing and deliverance ahead of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The relatives of the victims alleged that the two pastors had hypnotized and camped the victims in an underground apartment within the church located at the Valentino area of Ondo town, in Ondo West Local Government Area.

One of the parents had alleged that her daughter had been enchanted as she had refused to return home since January and that she had been advised to drop out of school by the pastors.

Another parent also claimed that she had to report to the police because she was thrown out of the church when she went to pick her daughter billed to write her secondary school entrance examination.

It was gathered that the child was not allowed to write the entrance examination as the two pastors had been preaching against going to school because they would not need education after rapture.

One Mrs. Jessica Akintemi also asserted that two of her daughters and her husband had been living in the church since January, 2022.

Her husband, Rotimi Akintemi, a Mathematics teacher in one of the private secondary schools in Ondo, had stopped going to work because he was awaiting the return of Jesus Christ.

“I left the church because of the doctrine introduced by the new Assistant Pastor, Josiah. Most married women have been encouraged to leave their matrimonial homes and divorce their husbands in order to reach Heaven.

“The Assistant Pastor said he was called by God to rewrite the King James Version of the Bible as there are some things that are not right in the Bible and our children have been hypnotised with these teachings,” she said.

Pastor David Anifowose and Peter Josiah, however, denied the allegations saying that they never turned the children and the people against their biological parents, but they were taught not to disobey their fathers in the lord.

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