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Keep this abusive bishop out of the UK!

Keep this abusive bishop out of the UK!

THE UK authorities should take measures to stop controversial Nigerian pastor, David Oyedepo from bringing his witch-hunting ministry to Europe. Oyedepo with his Pentecostal church, the Winners Chapel and his own fleet of private jets, is reputedly the richest pastor in Nigeria.

Oyedepo is scheduled to preach at the European Winners Convention to be held in Dartford, Kent, in mid-August.  There are numerous reasons why the UK authorities should not allow him to feature at this event. Here are just a few.

Not too long ago, Bishop Oyedepo assaulted a girl at one of his ministration events in Nigeria. He accused the girl of being a witch. But the girl denied this saying she was a ‘witch for Jesus’.

And in reaction, Bishop Oyedepo slapped her. Oyedepo is not alone in the business of witch hunting and child abuse. Many branches of his Winners Chapel are involved in this violent campaign.

In August last year, a branch of Winners Chapel was one of the Pentecostal churches which the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, ordered to have closed down  due to “criminal practices”.

A nine-year-old girl collapsed and died during a prayer session at the Winners Chapel branch in Bamenda, Cameroon. The pastor accused the girl of being possessed by numerous demons and whilst he was “casting out” the demons the girl fainted and died.

Pentecostal pastors like David Oyedepo are engaged in an effort to spread  their ministry to Europe. They are re-exporting an Africanised Christianity with an emphasis on demon possession, exorcism and witch hunting. They are targeting African immigrant communities.

Some of these churches already have  established branches in many European countries. The harmful effects of their violent brand of Christianity are already being seen in many parts of Europe.  European authorities must not allow the situation to worsen.

There is strong evidence of  the  links between cases of witchcraft related abuse of children and the activities of Pentecostal churches in Black communities in the UK. It is most distressing  that Pentecostal churches have been allowed to spread this gospel of hate and incitement in Britain.

It has to stop!

Preventing “witch slapping” Bishop Oyedepo from preaching at the European Winners Convention is not, as some may claim, an act of racism. It is not an infringement on his right  to freedom of religion but an essential step in  combating abuse in the name of religion and to helping bring an end to witch hunting in Africa and in the black communities world wide.

I urge the UK authorities to deny entry to the child-assaulting Oyedepo. He must not be granted  an entry visa. He must not minister at the European Winners Convention in August. By denying him entry, the British government will be sending a very strong message to all African witch hunting pastors and churches that they are not welcome in this country. It will help to shine a light on the dangers of these  violent campaigns in Africa and within the European black communities.

The UK authorities should closely monitor the activities of the branches of Winners Chapel and ensure that the criminal goings on at some of the branches in Africa are not tolerated in this country.

All non-governmental organisations and concerned individuals should register their support for the campaign against witch hunting and related atrocities by sending letters to the Home Office urging the Ministers not to allow Bishop Oyedepo into the country for this convention. If Muslim clerics who make hateful and inciteful speeches are not allowed entry into the UK then surely child abusing witch exorcising pastors like David Oyedepo should also not be allowed in. Witch hunting must stop. Witch hunting pastors and churches must be stopped.

Editor’s note: The Conway Hall in Red Lion Square, Holborn, London, is the venue for an event entitled “Witchcraft belief: Murder and Misogyny in the 21st Century” which will take place on Monday, Aug 11, 2014, at 19:00.

London Black Atheists, Central London Humanist Group and the Nigerian human rights activist, Leo Igwe, winner of the National Secular Society’s Special Achievement Award in 2013, are the organisers of the event, designed to explore:

The toxic mix of religion, superstition, misogyny, cruelty, mental instability and sheer greed that are factors in the accusation of mainly women and children of witchcraft and offers solutions on combating this modern day scourge of the world.

18 responses to “Keep this abusive bishop out of the UK!”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    Excellent article, Leo. Do you know if there’s any kind of online petition people can sign to encourage the authorities to bar Oyedepo from the UK?

  2. Leo says:

    No online petition to the best of my knowledge. You can help us start one.

  3. Broga says:

    Brilliant article. By his actions this man should be criminally prosecuted.

  4. Norman Paterson says:

    I think we should let him in and mock him. Put him on with Dead Ringers or Ian Hislop or Paul Merton and laugh at him till he gets the message.

  5. barriejohn says:

    It’s all very well saying that he should be exposed to ridicule, but even that would only strengthen the position of himself and other “ministers” who advocate this abuse of innocent children (and adults). The religious adopt a sort of seige mentality in the face of opposition (this applies even in non-charismatic sects), and the more abuse that “the ungodly” heap upon them the more convinced they become of the virtue of their beliefs. They are likely, in fact, to become even more extreme when attacked. The Bible and the Koran are full of this “Blessed are you when everyone speaks evil of you” nonsense, and people like Jones and Koresh have used it to devastating effect.

  6. barriejohn says:

    I think this has been posted on the site before:

    http://youtu.be/-lgQ_2qlOfo

    The commenter is correct; the worst thing about it is their conviction that they are actually HELPING the boy!

  7. Norman Paterson says:

    BarrieJohn – You may be right. But keeping him out will fuel a victim status. Mockery is not abuse, so cannot be used to justify victimhood. It simply punctures his bubble for everyone to see.

    We need more satire, and we need it now.

  8. Matt Westwood says:

    Leave Koresh out of this, I believe he was the victim of political manipulations.

  9. Broga says:

    Norman Paterson: I’m in favour of satire and ridicule. There is a problem and that is that the beliefs of these bigots are so bizarre that they cannot be distinguished from ridicule. We have experienced this on this site. I treated one nutter at face value and had it pointed out to me here that it was a send up.

    And there was the very funny correspondence to a fundamentalist (I forget which one) which he took seriously.

  10. Angela_K says:

    “Winners Chapel” The same name as a well known religious bigot and christian cafe owner who threatened to sue this blog and its editor. Coincidence?

  11. Angela_K says:

    Speaking of christian bigots, they have lost again in the high court over the ban on their ex-gay advertisement.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-28570436

  12. barriejohn says:

    Where did I say that we shouldn’t hold these people and their beliefs up to ridicule? The question is, what will cause the greatest harm here – allowing him into the country or keeping him out, and knowing the mentality of his followers I know what MY answer would be.

  13. AgentCormac says:

    barriejohn

    Here’s another good example of what you mean. It was posted by our friend Potty on Daz’s new blog ‘The Hutton Delusion’.

    ‘Hey Daz: Many thanks for setting up this blog and inviting comments. In doing so you have done me a BIG favour, this is because Jesus taught that when His followers are maligned their reward is great in Heaven.

    Therefore, every time yoiu (sic), and your friends, abuse me you are increasing my reward in Heaven – thank you.’

    Sigh.

    http://thehuttondelusion.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/bob-huttons-attempt-to-get-a-job-on-the-daily-mail/#comments

  14. Norman Paterson says:

    How depressing this item is. I remember the children who were tortured to death in this country by followers of people like this, and that is what we have at risk. The problem is that suppressing these preachers just gives them ammunition. Refusing entry is a very mild form of suppression, but I am sure he will play it up for all it is worth: “What I say is so important and powerful that white folks [or whoever he wants to demonise] are scared to hear it!”

    Life of Brian: “I am not the Messiah!” “Only the True Messiah would deny it!” etc.

  15. barriejohn says:

    Norman Paterson: I know that that is what he and his supporters will say, but I still can’t agree with you. If you had experienced the persuasive power of these rabble-rousing demagogues (maybe an MLM “presentation”, as it is very similar) you might realize why people want to prevent him from stirring things up amongst emotionally unstable congregations in this country. Ask yourself why British Christians have been so keen to bring people like Billy Graham, Morris Cerullo and Benny Hinn to this country. They know what the results will be!

  16. Matt Westwood says:

    I’d rather arseholes like this one were kept away from this country, despite the points they’d score on the “we’re being persecuted” league table.

    On the other hand, I’m philosophically opposed to the concept of national boundaries and the prevention of free movement of people from one public area to another public area, so “banning” him from these shores does not sit well with me.

    A difficult moral dilemma …

  17. Newspaniard says:

    Remove the tax free status of all religious organizations. That’ll stop em farting in church.

  18. Ralph Stanley says:

    This article is based on a biased bigoted racist non christian seeking to tarnish the good name of an african preacher. Winners chapel does not punish or abuse children and the attempt to insinuiate that the church does so is calculated mis-information from a racist bigot.