Christian Leaders in Nigeria Want Pastor “thoroughly” Investigated Over Alleged Abuses

Members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) with President Muhammadu Buhari. Credit: Presidency of Nigeria

Christian leaders in Nigeria are calling on security agents “to thoroughly investigate” Josiah Peter Asumosa for allegedly locking up dozens of adults and children at the basement of a church reportedly “waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ”.

Various reports have indicated that the assistant pastor at the Whole Bible Believers Church locked some 77 believers in the basement of the church awaiting the rapture in September this year, a July 4 VOA report indicating that the “police freed 54 adults and 23 children”.

In a Tuesday, July 5 statement, officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) say while the church popularly known as “Ondo Church” is not part of their ecumenical organization, they are obliged to state their position on the matter because “the church claims to be a Christian church”.

“We are therefore calling on the Police to thoroughly investigate him (Josiah Peter Asumosa) and his activities with a view to prosecuting him and his cohorts if there had been any infringement on the law of Nigeria and the rights of the members in his custody,” say officials of the Christian entity that includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). 

They add, “No true Pastor would claim to know the date of the rapture because the Bible has stated it clearly that it is only God who knows the date.”


“Whoever claims to know the date is not only misleading the public but cannot claim to be a genuine Servant of God. He is at best, an agent of Satan pretending to be a Pastor,” CAN officials say. 

On July 1, police officers in Ondo State reportedly rescued 77 believers, with the Police Public Relations Officer in the Nigerian State, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, saying the security officers carried out the operation after receiving intelligence from the public. 

Mrs. Odunlami said that the pastor had also told young members of the church to obey their “parents in the Lord” and not their biological parents.

Family members of one of the victims rescued from the Ondo Church basement said their daughter dropped out of school in January and had been living in the church.

In their July 5 statement, CAN officials laud the police for their “prompt actions” that led to the rescue of the church members. 

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They say the rescued persons “should further be subjected to medical checkups since nobody knows what they were going through where they were camped.”

The Christian leaders call on Nigerians to “keep an eye on the pastors under them towards ensuring wholesome Biblical conduct.”

“Members of the churches all over the nation are enjoined to cross-check every teaching from the Bible before believing it,” CAN officials say in their July 5 statement. 

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.