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Pressure mounts on UK Govt. to deport Nigerian witch-hunter described as wicked and a danger to children

By News Express on 24/04/2014

Views: 2,540

A woman who attended the church of a Nigerian “witch-hunter” has told how the experience left her with nightmares.

Melanie Rashford, 24, spoke out after campaigners urged the Home Secretary to ban Helen Ukpabio, known as “Lady Apostle”, from the UK as a danger to children.

Mrs Ukpabio, who flew into London earlier this month to preach in the capital, has been quoted as saying that any child who cries at night or is feverish is “a servant of Satan”.

The founder of the Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, she is accused of being behind the abandonment and suffering of young children she labelled witches in Nigeria.

Ms Rashford, who now lives in south-east London, visited Mrs Ukpabio’s ministry in Nigeria as a child.

She told the Standard: “I was seven when I visited her church in Nigeria and I remember being scared and having nightmares. I never want to see her again and I hope she is banned from the UK for good.

“Being an avid church attender I now know this is not the way real churches are run. A church is a refuge which aims to support the vulnerable and show love, not to endanger or harm people or make money from the poverty or suffering of others.”

Mrs Ukpabio is said to specialise in liberating captives in “deliverance sessions” and offers help to people who are under “witchcraft attack, ancestral spirit attack or mermaid spirit attack”, claiming to help “disconnect” them. Campaigners say she poses a significant risk to children and have urged Theresa May to have her removed.

Gary Foxcroft, of the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network, said the organisation believed that the “witch-hunter” was still in London.

He said: “The Home Secretary needs to take urgent action to deport her from the UK, since her presence here is not in the public good.

“Her preachings about the existence of child witches in Nigeria have been linked to widespread abuse of child rights, including cases of children being starved, tortured and killed.”

In one case, three children aged between three and seven were starved, incarcerated and had hot water poured over them by parents who had just attended one of her sessions.

He said the Government needed to do more to prevent further cases such as those of Victoria Climbie and Kristy Bamu.

He said: “In particular, attention needs to be paid to the need to regulate churches so that people like Helen Ukpabio are not allowed to promote views that lead to acts of terror against innocent children.”

Mrs Ukpabio cancelled her first service after arriving in London when the location was leaked online but she is thought to have made three other appearances, including one at a private home. The pastor founded her church in 1992 and is said to have 150 branches worldwide.

Mrs Ukpabio, who is referred to by her congregation members as “Mummy”, took to her Facebook page to request prayer during what she said were “difficult times” following the disruption of her service.

•Credit (except headline): London Evening Standard. Photo shows witch-hunter Helen Ukpabio.

Source News Express

Posted 25/04/2014 02:08:30 AM





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