‘Threats, grooming, exploitation’: How we escaped the evangelist church ‘cult’

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Forcibly held and interrogated, she alleges that she and other members of the congregation would be put through humiliating, frightening and physically painful ordeals that lasted up to an hour, leaving them sore and bruised.

‘They put their hands on your head, and then they started moving it around,’ explains Rachel, now 40.

‘Your whole body would be moving back and forth. The only way you could get out of it, was just kind of act it out with them. But it hurt. My neck would always be in pain afterwards. I would always leave with a headache or feeling heavy, like a ton of bricks were on my shoulder.

‘The pastor could be dripping with sweat, but it would go on. We were told first the minions demons needed to manifest, and then the chief demon. It could take a long time.

‘You felt like you had to just go along with it. Because if you don’t, they’re not going to leave you alone.’

The aim of these services, says Rachel, was to rid the person of the demons inside them – much like what you’d expect from an exorcism. Except, according to the church, it wasn’t one.

In fact, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God’s website is very clear: ‘Unlike some Christian churches including Roman Catholics and the Church of England, the UCKG HelpCentre does not practise exorcism.’

In an additional lengthy statement to Metro.co.uk, they said: ‘We do not practice or believe in exorcism. As a Christian church, we practice strong prayers, as instructed by the Bible. And, we offer weekly deliverance services designed to pray for spiritual cleansing from all negativity, which can help those attending our services to gain greater peace of mind.’

Content retrieved from: https://metro.co.uk/2023/05/17/threats-grooming-exploitation-howe-we-escaped-a-church-cult-18070398/.

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