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Police: 77 children were detained in a Nigerian church for the rapture

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The Associated Press

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Chinedu Asadu

Nigeria, Abja (AP) — Nigerian police have released at least 77 people in the basement of the church. Authorities said on Sunday that Christian believers would rise to heaven with the return of Jesus Christ.

The people rescued from the church in Ondo State on Friday night included 23 children, including an 8-year-old. Locals told AP news agency that all members of the Church of the Bible Believers have been there since last year.

Church ministers, located 75 kilometers (46 miles) from the Nigerian capital, advised members to "stay behind" and wait for joy, Ondo police said. Said Hummirayo Odunrami, a spokesman for.

Two ministers have been detained, but investigators have found no evidence that church members have been "abused and / or forced" to stay underground, she said. rice field.

"The assistant minister said he said to them what the Lord had said to him. Odung Lami

Nigeria is respected by many religious leaders. This is not the first time authorities have reported rescued people detained by priests, whether voluntary or compulsory.

Local A woman warned of a possible kidnapping involving the Ondo Church and said her daughter was not allowed to enroll in the exam.

Others had annoying complaints about the church, but were unaware of what was happening inside.

"They are servicing 24 hours a day, People rarely sleep when they are vigilant, "said Tande Valentino, who lives nearby. "It wasn't until Tuesday that the woman said she wouldn't release her two children."

When the local government went there, according to Valentino, some church members rescued them. He resisted becoming a person, "refused to go" and cursed his parents who also arrived.

During the interrogation, Famakinwa Lucaskakaki, president of the local youth group, said church members claimed that "they entered the basement themselves" after worship every Sunday.

"Some of them said they had been there since August. Some said they got there in January of this year," he said.