Evil Faces Behind African Child Torture In The Name Of Jesus
By James Donahue
The stories of child exorcisms and killings sifting from out of the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, from the very heart of Africa, are only part of a maze of horrors occurring in that part of the world.
That same nation, where some 4 billion people are believed to have died during a civil
war, also is known for its "blood diamond" mines, where workers die to glean the diamonds from the earth. They are sacrificed
so people like Christian tele-evangelist Pat Robertson can profit "in the name of Jesus."
It is an area so stricken by poverty, disease and hopelessness that the people fall prey
to a growing number of con-artists who have found a way to make money charging families to torture and sometimes murder their
children under the guise of a Christian war against demons and witches.
It has become such a successful and profitable business that journalists who have explored
the Capital City of Kinshasa, population 7 million, say cult Christian churches can be found on almost every corner. Almost
all of them offer to dispel demons from possessed children for a price.
There are so many of these churches, and nearly all of them are operating independently,
it has been hard for researchers to get a handle on any form of design or find the names and faces of true spokespersons for
this ugly movement. The leadership, if it exists in human form, has succeeded in remaining obscure and well hidden.
Yet out of the fog has emerged a few names and at least two faces from some of the larger
"congregations," especially those churches that have been so successful they have established branches in other nations, including
The most predominant church has been Combat Spirtuel which boasts 50,000 members with a
branch in London. It was founded by Mama and Papa Olangi.
This couple, a pop singer, Shungu Jules Wembadio, who went by the name Papa Wemba, is teamed
up with a female church leader named Maman Elisabeth Olangi. The two also have established something called the Olangi foundation.
This foundation, which now has fingers reaching into some 35 nations, offers orphanages, Bible schools, AIDS care and churches
with an emphasis on prayer, fasting and, most significant, deliverance from the bonds of witchcraft.
Wembadio, a convicted felon in France, claims he was converted to Jesus while in prison.
Sita Kisanga, a Congolese immigrant to the UK, now in prison for torturing her niece in
a form of exorcism, claims she was following the instructions of Combat Spirituel, the church she was attending. She claims
the church said the girl was possessed and was a practicing witch. This little girl, found abandoned, beaten, cut and starving
on the streets of London in 2005, launched a series of investigative news stories that exposed what is going on not only in
the cult churches of London but also in Kinshasa and throughout the Congo.
Officials representing Combat Spirituel, including the church president, a Mr. Molobo,
deny the church advocates child abuse. Molobo said he believes witchcraft is clearly attested in the Bible but says it is
against the doctrine of the church to harm children or force them to suffer deliverance ceremonies.
Another practitioner who made news print last year, and who made no effort to hide what
he was doing, is Prophet Onokoko. Witnesses say this character's preferred method of exorcism is to make child witches "vomit
up the devil." He allegedly has a list of over 230 children who have been forced to take laxatives and emetics and vomit up
a wide variety of objects that critics believe he first makes them swallow.
"In his shack-like church, Onokoko displays examples of 'devils' sickened up so far: "a
whole prawn, a shell in the shape of a horn, and even two barbel fish," one story said. "These came out of the mouths of children
who had spirits," he was quoted as saying.
Many churches in the Congo are affiliated with the Roman Catholic and Protestant religious
groups, and also with a third, quite strange cult known as the Kimbangists.
While those of us in the West know little, if anything, about the Kimbangist faith, it
is one of the largest of the independent "churches" operating in Africa. It was founded in 1921 by Simon Kimbangistu, who
taught that God was black. His ideology so infuriated the Belgian government, which was in power at the time, Kimbangistu
was tossed in prison where he remained until his death in 1951. The church he founded has flourished.
Katanga also is the home to the Kitawala, a Congo variant of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
To date we have not connected any of these denominations with the practice of child exorcism.