Campaigners slam ‘appalling’ witchcraft-promoting preacher’s ExCeL appearance

The ExCeL centre
Law-abiding: the ExCeL venue in London. Photograph: Wikipedia

Human rights activists have attacked the “quack theology” of a witchcraft-promoting preacher appearing in London tonight.

Nigerian pastor Daniel Olukoya will broadcast live from America to 20,000 people at the ‘Deliverance, Prayerquake and Anointing Service’ event at the ExCeL centre.

Olukoya, who runs an international church called Mountain of Fire, has previously called for the “destruction of witches”.

One of his prayers reads: ‘Every witchcraft vulture, die, in the name of Jesus… Every seed of witchcraft in my foundation, die, in the name of Jesus. Every anointing of witchcraft in my family line, die, in the name of Jesus.’

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell
Shocked: Peter Tatchell has expressed concerns. Photograph: Twitter

In the wake of the notorious child murders of Victoria Climbie and Kristy Bamu in the capital, both connected to witchcraft, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell warned that Olukoya’s beliefs can lead to the “brutalisation of children”.

He told the Newham Recorder, which broke the story: “I am appalled that many thousands of UK Christians apparently support this preacher. His diatribes against witchcraft help sustain irrational, superstitious and prejudiced beliefs.

“These beliefs can lead to the brutalisation of adults and children, mostly in the black communities, who are mistakenly believed to be possessed.”

Speaking to the London Citizen, Leo Igwe, a human rights activist who rescues people accused of witchcraft in Nigeria, said: “It seems that lessons have not been learned from the tragic deaths of Victoria Climbie and Kristy Bamu, and there appears to be no effective preventive measures in place to tackle this problem.

“The people of London should wake up to their duties and responsibilities to children and other vulnerable people in black communities and in the entire country, so the cases of Climbie and Bamu do not happen again.

“Witchcraft-based healing and deliverance must stop. The healers and churches must be stopped. They must be sanctioned.”

Eight-year-old Victoria Climbie was tortured and killed by her guardians in 2000, whilst Kristy Bamu died in 2010 after being drowned by his sister and her partner in the belief that he was “possessed”.

Tatchell added: “Mainstream churches need to speak out against the witch-hunters and their quack theology. It is making some pastors very rich. They are exploiting vulnerable and often gullible people.”

Commenting on Olukoya’s appearance, a spokesperson for the ExCeL said: “As a venue, we accept all nature of exhibitions, conferences and events and require them to adhere to domestic and international law and comply with all appropriate regulations, as set out by the relevant authorities.”

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has been approached for comment.

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