David Anifowose and Peter Josiah, pastor and assistant pastor of the Whole Bible Believers Church, also known as Ondo Church, were detained by police in Ondo State command on Saturday for luring and harbouring about 77 people who had been hypnotised in a church basement apartment.
The people’s relatives claimed that the two pastors hypnotised them and imprisoned them in a remote apartment within the church in the Valentino neighbourhood of Ondo town, in the state’s Ondo West Local Government Area, under the guise of a religious kidnapping.
The two pastors were detained in response to complaints from some parents of the underage children camped in the church who would never permit the parents to have access to their wards, according to State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Funmilayo Odunlami.
54 adults and 23 children, according to Odulami, were among the 77 people who were rescued from the pastors’ den after they insisted on keeping them there for a special cleansing and deliverance prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
However, the two pastors who refuted the accusations made against them claimed that they never taught the people to disobey their spiritual fathers rather than turning them against their biological parents.
Speaking, one of the parents claimed that her daughter had been brainwashed by the two pastors and had been hypnotised since January, refusing to return home while they encouraged her to quit school.
It was learned that some parents of the kids who had been camped out in a designated area of the church had complained, which led to the arrest of the two church pastors.
One of the parents who came to the church to pick up her daughter before she took the secondary school entrance exam caused a disturbance, was ejected from the building, and was forced to call the police.
The boy was reportedly denied permission to take the entrance exam because the two pastors had been preaching against attending school because they would not require an education once they were taken to heaven.
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