A 9-year-old boy was rescued from a church in Ogun state Nigeria, after weeks of being chained and tortured. The Celestial church of Christ had been keeping the emaciated child in chains and tortured him in a bid to rid him of demonic possession. This was said to be with the consent of the child’s father, a pastor.
According to Premium Times–
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES
On the 22nd of July 2016, at about 10:30hrs at Ajibawo in Ado Odo OTA Division 2, NSCDC officers rescue a boy, named Taiwo Korede, aged nine years old, who had been chained for weeks at Celestial Church of Christ key of Joy Parish Ajiwo.
“The case has since been transfer to the appropriate authority for further investigation.”
I wish I could say I was surprised at this news, but truth be told, I wasn’t. I mean, I grew up with this. It was a daily occurrence. I had been a victim of such abuse myself. My parents attended Celestial church of Christ. I saw this evil every day. I was a victim of this evil.
I remember being called a witch by pastors and prophets. I vividly remember the many prayers and beatings with palm fronds and brooms at the Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos. Many children suffered this fate. We were all randomly accused of being witches or being at risk of initiation into witchcraft because we shared or accepted food from our classmates who according to those prophets, are witches and wizards and wanted to initiate us into witchcraft.
Our parents fell for such bullshit, because well, RELIGION. They thought they were protecting us from demons, therefore they let the church abuse us.
It is especially prominent amongst poor families. The children are blamed for using demonic powers to keep their parents in poverty. Children of rich people in the church were hardly accused of witchcraft. It seems witchcraft is a disease only poor people catches.
Also, if the parents were once well to do, and had a prosperous business, but started having financial problems and business troubles, no one bothered to blame the flailing economy, the church just put the blame on the vulnerable members in the family. This could be the house help, the young maid, the orphaned child from the village living with the family, the step-child who wants to ruin the new marriage, the old mother in law, and don’t forget that wrinkled, old woman on the street, surely with her haggard look, she must be a witch!
Yes, this is the reality of religion. This is the reality I grew up in. This is what I was indoctrinated into.This is why I hate Religion. This is Why I Speak Out Against Religion.
So, a 9-year-old emaciated child in chains, tortured by the church isn’t really new or news to me. If I am being honest, the only part I found surprising was the fact that a government agency rescued the child. I guess that must be a step forward.
However, have charges being brought against the callous perpetrators of this crime? Well, they did issue a statement that they are investigating the matter.
Do I have faith in the system? NO, I don’t. If the people in charge of the case are religious believers, (which they most likely are), and they believe there are demons, witches, wizards, and all sorts of religious and spiritual myths, they are not likely to give the case the thorough justice it deserves. They might not agree with the measures taken by the church, but they could still be cautious around the child because they also might believe he has demonic powers. That is the power of religion. And that is why I hate religion.
People might act all surprised at seeing this poor 9-year-old boy in chains, but these surprised hypocrites cheer on their pastors every Sunday as another child is accused of witchcraft and abused in front of the congregation. They sit there and marvelled at how powerful their Daddy in Christ is, as he battled these demons out of these poor “Possessed” children. Never mind that they can’t actually see the demons he is casting out, but well, they see how he is beating the demons out of these children, so they cheer him on. That is the absurdity of religion. And that is why I hate religion.
Not too long ago, when one of the most prominent and richest pastor in Nigeria, Pastor David Oyedepo, physically attacked a 14-year-old girl during a church service watched by tens of thousands of church members, no one blinked an eyelid, in fact, they all clapped for him. Yes, adults cheered on this good for nothing pastor while he slapped a girl, because according to him, she was a witch, but the girl boldly responded that she was a witch for Jesus. The audacity of her response made the Pastor Oyedepo even more furious and he physically lashed out at this poor teenage orphaned girl. And his congregation applauded him.
This atrocity was captured on video and posted on YouTube. I made a video where I urged people to slap some sense into Pastor David Oyedepo. I pointed out that hitting the poor girl on accusation of witchcraft was child abuse. However, what did the silly Christians and his sheep say? They came out enmasse to defend their pastor, citing silly bible verses like “Thou shall not touch my anointed”. I received a lot of abuse, curses and threats on the Blog post and YouTube video. Every now and then, I still wake up to one threat or the other on the video and blog post, with Christians telling me how I am gonna die for daring to speak against the Man of God, their precious Daddy in Christ.
There isn’t much outcry in the media about this latest atrocity and I am guessing it is because it is not an Islam vs Christian crime.
Also, child abuse in the name of God is pretty the standard, so what else is new? Maybe what’s new is the chains and padlock? But as I said, for those of us who grew up attending spiritual churches, that is nothing new. Vulnerable people suffering from various degree of mental health issues were often brought to church by concerned family members, cos well, it is easier and cheaper to pretend that they are possessed by demons than to try to get them the healthcare they need. After all, quality healthcare isn’t cheap in Africa. There is no National Health Service (NHS) or Obamacare in Nigeria. So, the church, mosques and shrines provide these services with a serving of padlocks, chains and torture as standard treatment.
More so, there is stigma attached to being an Aro mental health hospital patient. ‘Aro’, the name of a popular mental health centre in Nigeria, is often used as a derogatory, abusive word. When someone tells you “You belong in Aro”, you are likely to end up in fistfights because, well , they just called you crazy and that must not go unchallenged, mostly with fists. Abliesm alert. No one wants to be called a mad man or mad woman. You stand your ground and defend your precious family name. That is the extent of the stigma attached to mental health problems. Religious houses like the Church, mosques and shrines capitalise on this. People don’t want the outside world to know a family member is suffering from some mental health issues, so they take them to a spiritual church, mosque or shrine, and just look the other way as the pastors, imam, bablawo or voodoo master chain them down, torture and beat the so called demons out of them.
My heart breaks for this poor 9-year-old boy. I am happy that he has been rescued. I hope he gets the justice that he deserves. I hope he gets good counselling. I hope he gets a better life. However, I am not holding my breath because considering that his parents did this to him, and there is no known social service care in Nigeria that watch out for the well-being of children, especially when they are not orphans, this nightmare is far from over for this poor kid. I mean, wouldn’t he still be released into the care of the father who did this to him in the first place? I shudder to think of the further emotional and psychological if not physical abuse this child would still face, not just from his parents, but from the church members and the very religious society he lives in.
According to latest reports
The spokesperson for the Ogun State Police Command, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the boy was chained by his own father, a pastor in the church, who is currently on the run.
“The police operatives of the Command attached to Onipanu Division, Otta, on Friday, 23rd July, rescued one Korede Taiwo, M, 9, from where he had been chained on his neck to a heavy log of wood in a room by his biological father Pastor Taiwo Francis, m, of THE KEY OF JOY CELESTIAL CHURCH, Ajibawo area, via Atan Otta, in Ado Odo Otta Local Government Area of Ogun State for more than a month,” he said.
He said the child’s step-mother, Kehinde Taiwo, who has been arrested by the police, accused the boy of stealing.
This is why I hate religion.
This is why I think being a decent/moderate Christian or Muslim does not absolve anyone from the havoc religion causes in the society. Being a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful.
This is why I think religion is a cancer.
This is why I think we all need to do our part in making sure our society evolve to a stage where religion is nothing but a faraway distance memory in the minds of the new generation.
Let’s get rid of religion and all that useless belief in witchcraft, demons, talking snakes, flying donkeys, walking on water, hell fire, paradise and that enticing delusion of 72 virgins waiting in heaven for jihadists.
Evolve, flush religion out of your system. Kick religion in its mythical ass. The world would be a better place if we all gave religion the red card.