How we rescued 77 children, church members confined by pastor in church – Police

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The police in Ondo State have shed light on the case of children allegedly abducted by a church in Ondo town.

Although the incident was initially thought to be kidnapping or child trafficking, police said a preliminary investigation shows it was a case of the pastors of the church holding their members captive through false teachings.

The police had responded to complaints by residents of the community and rescued some children who were confined to an underground apartment of a church on Friday evening.

The church, Whole Bible Believers Church, is located in the Valentino area of the town.

Funmilayo Odunlami, the police spokesperson in the state, had earlier on Saturday said the police arrested the pastors and other members involved and that investigation was ongoing.

She gave further details on Saturday evening on how the police rescued the children and other members of the church held in captivity.

She said the police responded to reports gathered by the police at Fagun Division, Ondo town, that some children were being harboured at The Whole Bible Believers Church, AKA Ondo Church.

“Policemen were sent to the church to invite the pastor and the members of the church on sighting the police attacked them,” Mrs Odunlami said in the statement.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that one Pastor Josiah Peter Asumosa, an assistant pastor in the church, was the one who told the members that Rapture will take place in April but later said it has been changed to September 2022 and told the young members to obey only their parents in the Lord.

“Another family who was also around during the rescue said their daughter a part 3 student, dropped out of school due to the strange teachings of the pastor and left home in January 2022 to start living in the church.”

The police said they rescued 77 persons from the church including 26 children, eight teenagers, and 43 adults.

“The two (2) pastors are in police custody.

Investigation has commenced and the outcome will be made known to the members of the public,” Mrs Odunlami added.


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