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Abuja, Nigeria. Photo: Pexels.

Deliverance gone awry: Nigerian woman accidentally set on fire

A Nigerian woman suffered severe burns when a pastor doused her in perfume and lit a candle during an attempted deliverance ceremony. Sukura Owodunni, a 21-year-old woman, was set ablaze by Pastor Taiwo Odebiyi at his Cherubim and Seraphim Maberu Parish located in Offin, Sagamu area of Ogun state.

Owodunni visited the church for a special prayer at the pastor’s invitation. The pastor had directed Owodunni to purchase Amazing Grace perfume, local eggs and a candle for the special prayer. While praying, the pastor poured the perfume on the woman and lit the candle. Owodunni immediately caught fire, sustaining severe burns to her chest, shoulder and legs.

An eyewitness said the pastor was arrested promptly after the divisional police officer in Adigbe, CSP Abdulfattah Ogunsanya, and his team arrived at the church premises. SP Omolola Odutola, the state police public relations officer, said a further investigation had been launched to understand the circumstances surrounding the case.

READ: Nigerian Christians feel abandoned by U.S.

“The lady was said to have been abandoned to fend for her medical bills after the incident,” he said. “The victim has been taken to the hospital for medical attention.”

In July, Nigerian police rescued at least 77 people, including 23 children, whom pastors had ordered to stay in a church basement and wait for the second coming of Jesus. Pastors of the Whole Bible Believer Church in Valentino Area of Ondo town in the southwestern state of Ondo encouraged church members to stay behind and wait for the rapture or to be taken to heaven at the second coming

Police learned about the incident after parents of some children filed nuisance complaints. One woman said the church had possibly kidnapped her daughters. In June, more than 300 bodies were found in Kenya after a cult leader, Pastor Paul Mackenzie, who leads what is known as Good News International Church, encouraged his followers to starve themselves in order to meet Jesus. The controversial televangelist had been under investigation for propagating a doctrine that encouraged followers to abstain from eating food to reach heaven faster.

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