According to the Ondo State Police Command, 77 people, including women and children, were rescued from an underground church in Ondo town, the headquarters of Ondo West LGA in Ondo State, on Saturday evening, July 2.
The victims, who included 26 children, 8 teenagers, and 43 adults, were rescued from the Whole Bible Believers Church, also known as ‘Ondo Church.’
According to the command’s spokesperson, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, the victims were duped by Ondo Pastors, David Anifowose and Josiah Peter Asumosa, who is his assistant.
The two pastors were accused by the people’s relatives of hypnotizing them and caging them in an isolated apartment within the church in the Valentino area of Ondo town under the guise of religious abduction.
Odunlami revealed that Asumosa had brainwashed the victims into believing that the rapture would occur in April, which he later changed to September 2022.
According to Odunlami, the two pastors were arrested after some parents of the underage children camped in the church lodged complaints. The pastor was also said to have told his church’s young members to obey only their “parents in the Lord,” not their biological parents.
Meanwhile, one of the parents, Mrs Jessica Akintemi, whose two daughters and father, Oluwarotimi, had moved to the church ‘to meet Jesus Christ,’ said her daughters had stopped going to school since January because the pastors hypnotised them.
“l’ve been married to my husband for 22 years, he is a mathmatics teacher in a secondary school in Ondo. He abandoned work and took along my two girls, Ayomide, 15, in SS3 and Olamide, 13, who is in SS2.
The pastors told the congregation that rapture is coming in September and that we should camp in church to receive glorification body to meet Christ when he appears.
They also asked students to stop schooling, workers should stop working, wives to leave their husbands and husbands to do same and come to meet their Lord,” she said.
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