Ondo State is in the news again for the wrong reasons. Weeks after the chilling shooting of 40 parishioners in a yet-to-be resolved killing, 77 members of a church in Ondo town have been allegedly kidnapped by a pastor who weaved a story around the much-awaited rapture.
The rapture, according to Christians, is a twinkling-of-an-eye event in the history of mankind, in which those who believed and walked with Jesus Christ will be taken up to meet Him in the clouds; after the dead, but righteous ones would have done so.
But reports from Ondo Town in Ondo West Local Government Area say scores of children and others were allegedly kidnapped and kept in an underground room of a church there.
The police command in the state disclosed that a total of of 77 persons were rescued.
According to Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, the victims were allegedly deceived by Pastor Josiah Peter Asumosa, who is an Assistant Pastor of the church identified as Whole Bible Believers Church.
The victims were rescued on Friday night in the church at Valentino axis of Ondo town.
Odunlami disclosed that among the victims were 26 children, eight teenagers and 43 adult members of the church.
She maintained that the rescue was carried following intelligence report gathered by police operatives at Fagun Division of the town.
The PPRO added that Asumosa had brainwashed the victims that rapture would take place in April which he later said would happen in September, 2022.
The pastor was said to have further told the young members of his church to obey only their “parents in the Lord” and not their biological parents.
“Policemen were sent to the Church to invite the Pastor, and the members of the Church on sighting the Police attacked them.”
The family of one of the victims said their daughter, a part three university student, dropped out of school due to the strange teachings of the Pastor.
They said their daughter had left home since January, 2022 and had been living in the Church.
While stating that investigation had commenced and the outcome will be made known to the public, Odunlami said two pastors connected with the act were taken into police custody.
No official of the church has yet spoken to journalists on the strange report, but a viral video in circulation reportedly showed a police van taking the rescued persons to the police station.