The Ondo State Police Command has rescued 77 persons who are waiting for rapture in an underground church in Ondo town.
Rapture is a Biblical term for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Those rescued in the church include children, teenagers and others who have abandoned their homes, education, businesses and other jobs for the church.
The discovery was made during a raid at the Whole Bible Believer Church, located in the Valentino area of Ondo town.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Odunlami Funmilayo, a superintendent of police, told The ICIR on Saturday 2nd July 2022 evening that a parent of one of the victims reported at a local police station in Ondo town that her children had left home for days.
Her complaint prompted the police to accompany her to where she thought the children were hiding.
“The police followed her to check. When they tried to talk to the pastor, the church members became violent and attacked the police officers. However, people around there assisted the police and police called in for reinforcement.
“At the end of the day, 77 members were rescued. They were there in the church.
“According to what we heard from some of the parents of those rescued, the assistant pastor was the one piloting the affairs of the church.
“He claimed rapture was going to take place in April. But he later changed his mind that it would take place in September.”
According to the police spokesperson, the pastor ordered the victims to always obey whatever he told them.
The pastor, who was not named, told the worshippers that education was not necessary and that rapture would take place very soon.
The police spokesperson further disclosed that one of the members left home in January and abandoned her admission to a tertiary academic institution without informing her parents.
“Investigation is ongoing. The two pastors are in custody, and 77 members have been rescued,” Funmilayo, the police spokesperson, added.
A widely-shared video of the church showed a Bible kept on a table, flanked by bottles of exotic whiskeys, while some members spoke in hushed tones. Some parents could be seen in the video lamenting over the development.
The incident follows a similar story which The ICIR exclusively reported concerning a pastor, Noah Abraham, who demanded N310,000 for rapture in Omuo-Oke, Ekiti State, in May 2022.
We also reported how the pastor snatched his church member’s wife in Kabba, Kogi State, and abandoned his own wife in the town, before the community banished him.
Police in Ekiti State are currently prosecuting Pastor Abraham at a magistrate court.
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