Seventy-seven individuals, including children, were freed by Nigerian police from a church where they were being held captive in the southwest state of Ondo. It’s thought that some of them had been there for several weeks. Many of them, according to a police spokesperson, had been told to expect the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in April and had stopped attending class to witness it.
A mother reported her children missing and believed they were inside the church, which prompted the raid. Following the raid on the Whole Bible Believers Church in the Valentino neighborhood of Ondo Town, police claim they are looking into a possible mass kidnapping. The victims have been placed in the care of the authorities, while the Pentecostal church’s pastor, David Anifowoshe, and his assistant have been brought into custody.
As stated by police press officer Funmilayo Odunlami, “preliminary investigation revealed that one Pastor Josiah Peter Asumosa, an assistant pastor in the church, was the one who initially informed the congregation that the Rapture would occur in April but later announced that it had been moved to September 2022. He also instructed the young members to obey only their parents in the Lord. Police ultimately managed to save the fortune of three adults, twenty-six children, and eight teenagers.
After his Biblical ascension to Heaven, Christians believe that Jesus will return in the Second Coming. The rapture doctrine holds that at the Second Coming, Christian believers will be taken to Heaven. Since a devastating attack on another church, anxiety among Christians in the state has been at an all-time high.
On the 6th of June 2022, a mass shooting occurred at St. Francis Catholic Church in the hamlet of Owo, killing at least fifty people. The Islamic State West Africa Province is suspected by federal officials of carrying out the massacre.