Police in Nigeria recently released 77 people, including young children, from the basement of a church where they had been waiting for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ for several months.
The raid on the Whole Bible Believers Church in the Valentino area of Ondo Town came after a local mother approached police about the disappearance of her kids and told them that she suspected they had gone to the church. When they entered the place of worship, policemen found 77 people being kept in the basement by the Pastor and his deputy, who had told them that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Authorities claim that the church encouraged people to “stay behind” and wait for the Rapture, and some of them are believed to have lived in the church for several months.
This disturbing story began when the assistant pastor of Whole Bible Believers Church started telling parishioners that the Lord had told him Jesus’ Second Coming would take place in April of 2022. According to investigators, some of the 26 children – some as young as 8-years-old – 8 teenagers and 43 adults had been living inside the church, awaiting the big day since August 2021, and others since January 2022.
When the Second Coming of Jesus didn’t occur in April, as prophesized, the leaders of the church simply changed the dates, claiming that the Rapture had been postponed until September 2022. And instead of calling them out as frauds, people stayed and new ones joined them.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that one Pastor Josiah Peter Asumosa, an assistant pastor in the church, was the one who told the members that Rapture will take place in April, but later said it has been changed to September 2022 and told the young members to obey only their parents in the Lord,” Funmilayo Odunlami, a police press officer told journalists.
The leaders of the Whole Bible Believers Church have been detained, but investigators have yet to find proof that any of the people found in the basement of the religious establishment had been kept there against their will. Evidence shows that people just believed their religious leaders, and some of the kids just wanted to be there to witness the Second Coming of Jesus.
When authorities arrived and raided the church, some of the people living there reportedly refused to be taken away, and children cursed their parents who had come to take them home. Most insisted that they walked into the basement voluntarily.
“They hold services all round the clock and people rarely sleep when they held their vigils,” a woman who lives nearby, said. “It was until Tuesday when a woman came saying they did not release her two children.”