Togo: Several heads of sects prosecuted

Source: FSSPX News

Lomé market.

In Togo, according to the local bi-weekly Focus Infos, Protestant sects are multiplying and the “gurus” are being prosecuted more and more often for swindling and theft. According to a lawyer who spoke to Focus Infos for the February 25 edition, these organizations “cause more economic havoc than the illegal investing operations. They spring up like mushrooms and, each and every time, pile up money.”

Focus Infos tells of the case of a businesswoman in Lomé, the capital, who was ruined financially by two pastors. Under the pretext of sessions for “prayer, adoration and donations for the poor”, they succeeded in cheating her out of tens of millions of CFA francs (tens of thousands of U.S. dollars). Even more serious was the statistic published by the Togolese magazine, quoting the State Prosecutor of the Republic, that in 2013 these gurus perpetrated 15% of the thefts brought before the courts in that country. “The victims were generally girls or single women in a precarious situation. They then take advantage of their fragility and naiveté,” a police officer explained to the local media. Even though there are no official statistics concerning the number of Protestant sects in Toto, Focus Infos estimates that between 75-80% of their adherents are single or divorced women or widows, generally merchants, employees or civil servants.

According to Father Désiré Kpodar, rector of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lomé, these sects which “appear in the marketplace” are “acephalous”, in other words, they have no governing head; this makes them “a big worry for the Christian faith and the salvation of the faithful”. “You wonder whether the authorities in charge of religious issues are aware of the extent of the phenomenon,” he worries. According to one Catholic questioned upon leaving the cathedral, they “have just one mission: to win souls for the Evil One, the Devil,” and they “take advantage of the sense of helplessness of people who, confronted with everyday difficulties, seek easy, magical solutions”.

(Sources: apic/focus-infos – DICI no. 312 dated March 13, 2015)