Dwell Church, previously known as Xenos Christian Fellowship, has a troubled history of “cult” and “brainwashing” allegations

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Parents raise concerns

Jon and Brenda Roszkowski were the ones who complained to Stow police that their daughter was being harassed at Stow-Munroe Falls High School after she left the church.

They met with the Beacon Journal at Annemarie Smith’s house, along with another parent and former church member, Jackie Brown, and other family members.

“Church is No. 1 before family” at Xenos, said Jon Roszkowski. His daughter transferred to Woodridge High School to escape the problem, he said.

Stow Principal Susan Schur said she talked with students she believed were involved, warned them against harassment, but concluded that there was no behavior warranting discipline.

Brown, of Cuyahoga Falls, pulled her daughter out of the church. At one point, Brown and about a dozen family members were involved, but she became concerned about the amount of time teenagers were investing.

“They seemed to only care about the kids,” she said of church leaders, and that was troubling. There is, she said, “something wrong with this church. They are turning people away from God.”

Fathima Rifqa Bary, 17, of Columbus, told a Florida TV station her family would kill her for converting.

The parents of a 17-year-old Columbus girl who ran away from her Northeast Side home to Florida dismiss her claim that she fears they will harm her for converting from Islam to Christianity.

Rifqa, a high-school junior, had been questioning her faith for several months, her father said. She attended one church with friends from school and later attended services at another church, Xenos Christian Fellowship, a megachurch that emphasizes small groups meeting at home.

Her parents say that Fathima Rifqa Bary was brainwashed, and they also question how she ended up in the home of a Florida family she met through an online prayer group.

Authorities are trying to determine whether the girl, a New Albany High School cheerleader who goes by Rifqa, should stay in state foster care in Florida or be returned to her family.

“We love her, we want her back, she is free to practice her religion, whatever she believes in, that’s OK,” her father, Mohamed Bary, said yesterday.

“What these people are trying to do is not right — I don’t think any religion will teach to separate the kids from their parents,” he said.

Content retrieved from: https://www.culteducation.com/component/itpgooglesearch/search.html?gsquery=xenos+christian+fellowship.

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