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article imageVideo: Outrage as Nigerian Pastor Oyedepo assaults teenage girl

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 19, 2011 in World
Otta - The flamboyant Nigerian megapastor David Oyedepo, has caused international outrage after a video posted on Youtube showed him assaulting a teenage girl during a 2009 Shiloh service at the headquarters of his church in Otta, Ogun state, southwest Nigeria.
The video of the "man of God" who, as general overseer, rules his Winners Chapel church with unquestioned authority, has gone viral and may have become a source of embarrassment to his church and followers.
The video showed the pastor at an "altar call" ministration to a group of teenage girls knelt before the altar and confessing their sins to the "man of God." The girls, evidently poor girls, had apparently been accused of "witchcraft." But one of the girls, who said she is an Igbo girl from Imo state, insisted that she was not a witch. The girl styled herself a "witch for Jesus." Pastor Oyedepo's "wrath was kindled" because she dared to ascribe witchcraft to Jesus. He called her "devil," and slapped her across the face. Then he pronounced God's judgement on her, saying she was not ready for salvation therefore, he had set her free to go to hell.
Oyedepo's church members, impressed with the "man of God's" commanding authority over a person with the much dreaded "witchcraft spirit," applauded and cheered his action. Oyedepo then strutted commandingly down the row of girls demanding confession from each in turn. The other girls, already cowed by the "man of God's" show of power and authority, "confessed their sins." And before Oyedepo was through, church members produced new ones, all infected with the much-feared "witch spirit."
Since the video was posted on Youtube, it has received almost 100,000 views, and Nigerians have been condemning Oyedepo's behavior, while a minority who belong to his church have been trying to defend their pastor's god-given "spiritual authority" over "witches, wizards and demons."
According to Saharareporters, a group is sponsoring a petition calling for prosecution of the multimillionaire pastor. A Nigerian social website , has listed Pastor Oyedepo in its "NVS Hall of Shame." Another group said it is working on a letter of complaint to request that the United States revoke Oyedepo's visa to the U.S. Another group in the U.K., according to Saharareporters, has said it is lobbying the UK government to prosecute Oyedepo for child abuse and battery if he sets foot on UK soil.
Oyedepo's behavior may reflect the accustomed circumstances of hero worship in the personality cult that surrounds him in his church, given especially the strongly patriarchal leaning of Nigerian culture which confers on the "big man in the house" sweeping powers "ordained by the Almighty." He is considered by many the richest Nigerian pastor. He is a powerful man with strong political connections and may therefore tend to look upon a poor teenage girl as insignificant and unworthy of respect. He had asked the girl disdainfully before he slapped her, "Do you know who you are talking to?"
According to Digital Journal:
Bishop David Oyedepo, leader of Winner's Chapel, one of Africa's largest and wealthiest churches is also widely reputed as the wealthiest gospel preacher in Africa...Oyedepo maintains a private collection of four luxury jets which include three Gulfstream jets and a Challenger 604 Aircraft. He acquired his last jet, a Gulfstream V jet valued at $30 million, in March 2011. Bishop Oyedepo is building private hangers in Lagos and Accra to accommodate his 'flying toys.'"
According to Saharareporters, Oyedepo's "slaspsgiving" assault came a few days after he, along with a delegation of other influential Nigerians, was used by the Nigerian government to give the false impression that the late President Umar Yar'Adua was "recovering" on hospital bed. According to Saharareporters: "Mr. Oyedepo and his companions saw a bleak Yar’adua, he never said a word in public to reveal what he saw. Yar'adua died a few days later."
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