9-year-old boy chained and tortured in church for weeks: This is why I hate religion.

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.

9 year old boy

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.

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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.

9 year old

 

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 speak out against 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.

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Related links-

Slap Some Sense Into Bishop David Oyedepo

Why I Speak Out Against Religion

The Cancer Called Religion

Because you are a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful: My 24 hour ordeal with religion.

 

 

No one should have to choose which racism they would rather endure

I was having a phone conversation with my 21-year-old son while watching the Williams sisters’ doubles match the other day when our discussion veered towards racism which the Williams sisters have endured over the years.

I mentioned that I didn’t get why the British audience booed Serena during the match. My son said something about the British always supporting the underdogs and maybe they were just rooting for the player that Serena had defeated earlier who was also playing in the doubles.

However, we both agreed that there was an obvious case of hostility towards Serena during a match last year in Wimbledon when Serena defeated British player, Heather Watson. The audience were indeed unruly and very hostile towards Serena and even the commentators expressed their shock. My son said he was quite surprised as British people are not usually very open when they are being racist. [Read more…]

Light It Up: UK Black Pride 2016

Enjoy the sights and sounds of UK Black Pride, 2016 , through my lens and dance steps!

This police officer was really digging it at UK Black Pride, 2016. Transforming our community…for the better.

UK Black Pride 2016-Transforming our community with so much fun and positive vibrations.

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UK Black Pride was held on Sunday 26, June 2016 at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, London, with the theme “Transforming Our Community”. It was a blast with positive vibrations, diversity and thousands of vibrant people.

It was such a joy to be at UK Black Pride, 2016. It was fun in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with lots of foods and drinks to share, great music, great dance steps, lots of twerking and yeah, sexy, lovely people! LGBT BMEs do know how to party!

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Did someone say Why Black Pride?” [Read more…]

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It was London pride 2016 on Saturday 25, June 2016. As usual, the annual LGBT Pride celebration 20160625_165734meant the streets of central London felt the colourful presence of LGBT Londoners and their allies.  Marching from Baker street, Regent street, Oxford street and well, Cockspurs street, all the way to Trafalgar square, the colourful parade brightened up the streets of London. Rainbow flags, beautiful floats, creative costumes, the energetic marchers and the large appreciative supporters who turned out en masse to cheer the parade along, all made for one very beautiful London Pride, 2016. And of course what would London Pride be without the very creative and beautiful drag queens? They were fabulous as always! They slayed in their beautiful costumes and creative makeups. The crowd were eager to take pictures with those divas.  And oh, there was even a sweet moment when a police man in the parade went on his knees to propose to his boyfriend!

This year’s Pride theme was NO FILTER. It encourages LGBTs to live life without filters. Just be you. There was a huge turnout. According to London Pride, an estimated 1 million people took part in the Pride and about 40,000 people marched in the parade, the largest so far in London Pride history.

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Macheted and Beaten to a Pulp for not Fasting: Happy Ramadan!

Just a few days after a 74-year-old woman was beaten to death by angry Muslim youths in Kano state, Nigeria, for alleged blasphemy, another similar incident with almost same fatal outcome happened in neighbouring Kaduna state. Francis Emmanuel, a 41-year-old man was attacked by irate Muslim youths for not observing the Ramadan fasting, even though he was not a Muslim.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Francis Emmanuel, a carpenter, reportedly said

I went to buy wood to do some work. When I came back I bought food to eat. As I was eating about six Hausa boys came and asked me whether I am a Muslim or a christian. I did not answer them. They asked why am I not fasting? I told them that I am not a Muslim.

“Before I knew it, one of them slapped me. As I stood up, the rest came and surrounded me and started attacking me with knives. I don’t know them. Nobody could come to my aid because of the type of dangerous knives they were carrying.
“They used cutlasses scissors and knives on me. I became unconscious, I don’t even know who brought me to the hospital.

Beaten unconscious for daring to eat during Ramadan period and he was not even a Muslim! Let’s be clear, even if he was a Muslim, he has the right to choose whether or not to starve himself to please his Skydaddy. No one should have the right or audacity to demand that another observe a religious rite.

In some parts of Northern Nigeria, we have had cases where people were beaten up for drinking alcohol even when they were not Muslims and therefore not bound by the Sharia Law.  Shops selling alcohol have been vandalised because …well, Sharia law. This descent into a state of lawlessly in the name of religion needs to be checked before it gets to a point of no return.

Is their precious Ramadan not supposed to be the “Holy Month of Peace”? Unleashing violence on people who chose not to fast while you starve to endear yourself to your sky daddy brings a whole new meaning to the saying “A hungry man is an angry man”.

Which is why I despair when we are told to be politically correct and wish our Muslims br407171_2699056189303_1043602147_2867789_1434976931_nothers and sisters a Happy Ramadan. Why on earth would I want to encourage people to starve themselves in the name of a Skydaddy?

Happy Ramadan indeed, I’d rather we rid the world of religion in all its barbaric forms.

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Homophobic/Biphobic attack claims another life in Nigeria; Councilman on the run for his life

EDITED (16/03/2016)- Latest reports coming in are pointing to the fact that the pictures accompanying this story, which were taken from comments left on the alleged victim’s Facebook wall and news-reports, are not that of the alleged victim. Investigations are ongoing to authenticate the story. 

Trigger warning- Graphic pictures: Blood and violence.  

For some time now, for the sake of my mental health, I have shied away from reporting any news or write about anything from my home country, Nigeria. There is only so much sadness I can handle and that country has left me heartbroken one time too many. However, when I saw this horrible news of tragic homophobia on my timeline, I knew I had to say something about this. If anything could jolt me out of my silence on Nigeria and its nefarious issues, it is certainly another tragic homophobia, biphobia and transphobia case.

From news filtering in, the victim, Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi, was accused of homosexual activities, he was beaten up by youths in the community on 17th February 2016 and later died on 18th February 2016 from the injuries sustained. [Read more…]

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I was out when I briefly saw the headlines for the Colorado shooting today; apparently, three people, including a police officer, have been confirmed dead and many more injured.

The shooter, now identified as Robert Lewis Dear, is a 57-year-old white man from North Carolina.

According to reports

“Lt. Catherine Buckley of the Colorado Springs Police Department said the gunman, described as wearing a long coat and armed with a rifle, gave up after officers inside the building shouted at him. He previously had been firing at police who entered the facility.

Buckley also said the unidentified man had brought “items” with him inside the building and left some outside, meaning officers had to make sure they were not “any kind of devices.”

“The man apparently began his deadly spree at the Planned Parenthood building, although it was not clear if his motive was related to the organization.

“We don’t have any information on this individual’s mentality, or his ideas or ideology,” Buckley said.

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The book club members had gathered to read their book of the month, an essay titled ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Nigerian award winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. According to a member of the book club, Florence Warmate, the discussion got very interesting and members started sharing their personal experiences of sexism in Nigeria. They decided not to leave it there but start a conversation on social media about what it is like being a woman in Nigeria.

Florence Warmate posted her first tweet on the subject using the agreed hashtag #BeingFemaleInNigeria. Hours later, it was trending on twitter. It was interesting that a small group of women could ignite a national discussion via social media in a matter of hours. Clearly, it was a discussion Nigerian women (and some men too), were dying to have. [Read more…]

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Therefore, it was a shock when I checked the London Parade list for 27 June, 2015 and saw UKIP LGBT staring right back at me.  The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is widely known for its homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia and blatant racism.  I was aghast that UKIP LGBT is going to be in that ‘safe and fun’ pride parade.

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I cringed when I watched the video, the fear and violence hit me in the face! This is not what good parenting looks like. This is not what discipline looks like. This is not what makes a hero mom. This is FEAR. This is ANGER. This is a panicked mother lashing out at her child. This is an adult hitting a child she knows will not hit her back.

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On March 20, 2015, xenophobic attacks broke out in Durban, South Africa, some disgruntled South Africans turned on their neighbours, viciously attacking foreigners, mostly immigrant black Africans. This set in motion a wave of anti-immigrants attacks. The locals accused migrants of taking local jobs. They wanted the foreigners out of their country. Since the attacks, many deaths have been recorded and thousands of foreigners have fled for their lives, with many rendered homeless and in hiding.

A Mozambican man, Emmanuel Sithole was stalked, stabbed and murdered on the streets by vicious South Africans, According to reports, many including policemen watched while he pleaded for his life.

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