When your beloved pastor/priest turns into your betrayer

Ever wondered what happens when people who are supposed to offer spiritual guidance turn out to be defilers?

Rape culture in church

In fact, some children/young adults would often run to the church for refuge when the home fails to provide the safety they need.

Thus, the church becomes this sanctuary in a hostile world, while the Men of God become the closest thing to our Father in Heaven.

So, it is safe to say that any form of sexual abuse by these highly regarded people is something that can not even be imagined.

Unfortunately, the sad, painful reality is that these things happen. Sometimes, our beloved pastor becomes our very own worst nightmare.

What happens when this is the case, when the one person in the world who is supposed to protect you from spiritual issues and often becomes your go-to counsellor turns out to be a betrayer of the worst kind?

What I imagine is that this destroys the person's faith in not only that person (the rapist, anyone that makes unwelcome sexual advances), but also the church, what it represents and eventually God.

This person, betrayed in this terrible, deep scarring way, loses all faith/hope in anything and everything. What is left for a person with no hope in the world. As Michelle Obama aptly put it, 'what are we without hope?'

We are nothing, we are an empty shell, roaming the streets convinced that there is nothing left for us until death comes to take us away.

The major reason why the sexually assaulted person feels this way is because the pastor is still there, preaching, laying hands, acting like nothing has changed, while this person's entire world has been turned upside down.

Their former spiritual guider gets to go on living, smiling and acting like everything is okay, while this person is left to wither inside because they can not even tell anyone.

Who would even believe that everyone's papa, loved, adored and admired by all, would ever be capable of such a despicable act? No one.

A case that comes to mind is Ese Walter who accused the senior pastor of the Common Wealth Of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo of manipulating her sexually/spiritually.

Here is an excerpt of Ese’s story, which she shared on her blog.

"My better judgment asked me not to go into the room but the kind of reverence I had for Pastor bordered on fear and I steeped into that room.“Care for a drink?” Asked Pastor “No sir,” I said.“You don’t have to be shy , even if it’s alcohol, feel free and order what you want.” I

wasn’t sure I heard my pastor asking me to order alcohol. I imagined it was a test and ignored the voice inside that was saying, “I’d have henny and coke please.” He proceeded to ask how I had been coping in London and if I was a committed member of any church. He also said he thought there was something special about me and wanted to know that I had not strayed from my faith. I really thought he had heard I was doing something I shouldn’t while in London but tried my best to focus on the conversation instead of my straying thoughts. He kept telling me to relax and feel comfortable with talking to him. After a few minutes, he asked that we go to the roof of the hotel as his room was a pent suite and had a connecting door to the roof.

While there, he sat on a reclining chair and asked me to come sit on his laps. This was a bit awkward for me and I froze for a moment as I asked why. He said he had told me to feel free with him and loosen up. I found myself strolling to sit on his laps. At that moment, I felt like a little girl who was experiencing something her mind couldn’t fathom. He asked me to kiss him and all I could think about was seeing him preach on the pulpit back in COZA which was my home church. He again said ‘feel free ’ And asked again, that I kiss him.

A few hours later, let’s just say, we were rolling under the sheets. It felt as though my mind had paused. I am not saying I was jazzed, (although it’s possible I was in some trancelike state and didn’t know it but I just was so afraid that I couldn’t say or think otherwise.) That was the beginning of this affair. A sexual affair that went on for a little over a week, DAILY!I can hear somebody’s mind thinking, ‘well, you weren’t raped.”

This got a lot of reactions. For most, she was simply "a useless ashewo" on a mission to destroy the pastor.

No one bothered to ask questions, carry out an investigation or do anything at all, they just focused their energy on raining insults and curses on the lady.

The only one who came to her defence was popular OAP and religious critic, Daddy Freeze.

Here is what he said.

"I read with pain in my heart the story that who happens to be a close friend’s wife, has stopped believing in GOD. And I cannot but cast my mind to her ordeal in the hands of a so called man of God!

Her husband gave me his version of the story. I had worked with him for ten years and I have never known him to cook up tales.

After being abused by a so called man of God, And then Nigeria blames her, calling her all sorts of names! What about the man who led her astray?

I saw him at the airport the other day he was dressed from head to toe in monogrammed  and . He was a patchwork of ‘G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ ‘G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ ‘G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ ‘G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ ‘G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ G’ ‘LV’ a complete eyesore this man was. With the way he was dressed, his lavish parties and cars combined with what happened to Ese, I won’t trust him to sweep my compound yet some people call him pastor #SMH!

The damage these pastors are doing to the mindset of Africans is appalling!"

He also added Bible verses, Jeremiah 23:1-2 and 14.

Jeremiah 23:1-2 says, "Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord .Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord."

Jeremiah 23:14 adds, "I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah."

Whether we chose to acknowledge it or not, the fact remains that rape and other forms of sexual assault exist in our churches.

Rather than acting like there is no problem and insulting the few people that have the courage to share their stories, we have to face it squarely and stop hiding under the 'touch not my anointed' verse.

Let us strive to have a world where the church is indeed a place of refuge so that our children may never know the scarring pain of having a beloved pastor/priest turn into a defiler.

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