A 25-year-old Nigerian lady has said that a pastor to whom she was taken for deliverance tried to sleep with her.
In a heart-wrenching post shared on Facebook, Honey Phoenix Evarist, said that in 2013 when she was 22, her parents took her to a pastor at Omega Fire Ministries for deliverance after saying that she was not acting like a Christian.
Honey, who, according to her Facebook, is based in Abuja and attended the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, said the pastor asked her to come for a one-month retreat, so she packed her things and went to live with him.
She said no sooner had she packed in than the pastor, whose name she did not provide, started harassing her for sex.
“This man would always enter my room without knocking. His hands would linger around my breasts when he hugs me.”
Honey said she was uncomfortable with the man’s conduct but she tried to convince herself that he did not mean any harm.
However, according to her, the man persisted.
“We used to have night prayers and he would prolong the prayers till his heavily pregnant wife got tired and he’ll encourage her to go to bed and rest… once she leaves he starts to tell me how much he loves me and how I don’t need deliverance because there is nothing wrong with me and how I am a nice girl who her parents misunderstood,” she said.
Honey said she became fed up and avoided the evening church programmes and prayer meetings, but that did not deter the pastor who she said became more aggressive.
“…he would try to kiss me when his wife was just one room away…he would wink at me when her back was turned…he would hold my hand at the back seat of the car when we are returning from night vigil. He was like a love-struck teenager.”
She said the more she avoided him, the more he became desperate, questioning her as to why she was avoiding him and telling her that he could get his personal assistant to arrange a quiet time for the two of them somewhere.
Honey said she eventually reported the pastor’s conduct to the assistant pastor of the church, who, she said, shed tears in disbelief.
The assistant pastor, she said, advised her to pack her things and return home immediately, but she felt she could not do that because the “retreat” was not yet over.
Honey said after a vigil at Omega Fire Ministries headquarters in Auchi, Edo State, one night, she confided in a friend of hers as to what was going.
However, according to her, her father’s driver overheard the conversation and reported to her father when they later returned to Abuja.
“The sad part about it all was that my parents called the pastor and his wife to ask them instead of me. And they heaped it all on me. They said I have been misbehaving because I am tired of the “retreat” and I sleep during prayers, I don’t go to the evening services and I have come up with accusations because I want to go.
“The good thing was that I moved back home,” she said.
Honey has received words of support and encouragement from social media users, with some of them urging her to sue the pastor for sexual assault. Some also shared similar harrowing experiences, while others commended her for having the courage to tell her story.
“You post gave life to some people, madam,” Facebook user Chyke Ifedobi said.
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