Saturday, July 14, 2007

SPECIAL: Pastor Arrested in Uganda for using "Electric Touch" Device

Malachi 3:1-5 "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years. "Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me," says the LORD of hosts.
This is a sickening example of how far these con men with no fear of God will go to steal money from the poor and unsuspecting. These few articles also show how these criminals who use sorcery will ultimately bring about the persecution and outlawing of the true preaching of the gospel - hence, the serpent and the dragon. BE/\LERT!

Pastor Arrested With 'Miracle' Machine

The Monitor (Kampala) - By Martin Ssebuyira and Zurah Nakabugo - July 8, 2007
KAMPALA - It's as strange as it's true. A man of God of Ghaniain extraction was arrested and interrogated at Entebbe Airport after he attempted to clear a machine which, police say, he has been using to deliver electric current on unsuspecting worshippers during church service."Pastor" Obiri Konjo Yeboah on July 5 failed to convince Aviation Police officers why he needed this machine to do God's work. He is now facing serious charges including fraud and false pretence," Police Spokesman Asan Kasingye told Sunday Monitor yesterday.Police said the machine can be worn like a corset on the body. It also can generate up to 12 volts."When [he] touches his flock, they fall down [thinking] he is using super natural powers," Mr Asan Kasingye said. The machine is placed on any part of the body and gives a pleasant electric shock to whoever touches you.The waterproof electric machine is activated within 10 seconds and can emit sparks of static electricity between the user's fingers while in darkness. The Yigal Mesika Company in Los angels America manufactures the machine known for freaking people's minds.Mr Kasingye said the machine using the body as a conductor of electricity, transfers the current to the person in contact but the one using the device remains unaffected.Other "Born Again" pastors including the head of the National Council of Born Again Churches (NCBC), a body that regulate Pentecostal churches, are calling for prosecution of Yebowa."Police should interrogate him properly, know where he stays and the people he works with so that we get a clear picture of it all," said Pastor Alex Mitala who heads NCBC.Yeboah is a pastor in We Are One Ministry Church on Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road, Makerere. His father, other pastors say, is Obiri Yeboah, the controversial pioneer of miracle healing in Uganda. His followers include several local pastors who include John Kakande.Pastor Solomon Male said: "It's a pity they have arrested Yeboa but police should not allow him to use a machine to deceive he has supernatural powers," Male said."Yebowa's father was a witch, magician and I am not surprised that he was caught with that machine," Male added.
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Police Must Act On the Crooks in Our Churches

The Monitor (Kampala) - EDITORIAL - July 9, 2007
KAMPALA - Somewhere in the story of Jesus it is told that the disciples asked him how they would distinguish false prophets in the end time, and to paraphrase; the Son of Man did answer that we would know them by their works and deeds.Indeed, the Bible warns us that there will be false prophets of different shades in the last days; they will deceive the nations with their works claiming to be inspired by the spirit of God Almighty. Today, we see miracle men and women all over the place, they have invaded our sitting rooms on television; the minds of many have been twisted by the preacher people - of course, this is not to say that amongst the many hellfire and brimstone preachers wedo not have true evangelicals.However, the arrest of 'Pastor' Obirir Konjo Yeboah while trying to clear an electric charge releasing device at Entebbe Airport Customs Office is a revelation.Probably, for the very first time our vigilant police may have stumbled upon the explanation to the 'miraculous' falling down that has been going on in many churches. Most of us have either seen in real life or watched on television how pastors touch people who then simply collapse!Despite the miracle falling down, many persons who have purportedly been healed by the touch of this conmen posing as the genuine article have remained sick, others have died.Ugandans are presently caught up in the global billion dollar industry that television evangelism has become. We urge the police to carry out a no- nonsense inquiry into the activities of all pentecostal and other churches known to indulge their faith in this manner. Pastors who practice the falling down brand of 'healing' must subject themselves to police investigation. Whoever objects to this course of action, taken in the public interest, immediately becomes a suspicious character.One only hopes these people have an idea what that electric charge, though not more than 12 volts, could do to aggravate the health of really sick people? What people like Obiri and their ilk may have been doing is to unwittingly deceive the unsuspecting public, and along the way they may have indulged in homicide.Luckily for us, we now know what this "chasing out of demons" in the ubiquitous churches may have been about all along. The misrepresentation of the Christian faith by these alleged brethren is criminal under our laws to the extent that a suit of impersonation can be sustained against one such crook. They have deceived our people and looted from them. Now, we strike back.
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Police Start Hunt for Wired Pastors

The Monitor (Kampala) - By Rodney Muhumuza, Zurah Nakabugo & Simon Kasyate - July 11, 2007 KAMPALA - POLICE are investigating the conduct of churches for born-again Christians in the wake of rising cases of pastors' impropriety. Police publicist Asan Kasingye said all allegations - from sodomy to fraud - would be investigated.The detectives will be interested in the idea of "sowing", the term used to describe the generous tithes that pastors manipulate churchgoers into giving in the honest expectation of miracles."We are out to find out really if these [pastors] are using tricks to obtain people's property [and money]," Mr Kasingye said. It also emerged yesterday that there are "ongoing consultations" expected to lead to a policy that regulates the activities of the Pentecostals or balokole, as born-again Christians are popularly called."I met [pastors] at the beginning of the year and we discussed the matter," said Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, himself a born-again Christian.The head of the National Council of Born-Again Churches Alex Mitala said yesterday he would issue a response to the charges tomorrow.Pastor Martin Sempa of Makerere Community Church said there were "quacks" among the balokole, including those who are "willing to go to Satan to receive power".Allegations against some of the church ministers now include sodomy and dubious miracle healing.The latest incident has been the interrogation by police of Yeboah Nana Kojo, the Ghanaian-born Kampala pastor who allegedly procured an "electric touch" machine that is believed to deliver Holy Spirit- like shock."I believe people can pray and God heals, but we have manipulated people," said Pastor Solomon Male of the Arising for Christ Ministries. "There is a cover- up."The temporary arrest of Mr Kojo on July 5, and the possibility that many more pastors use the machine on unsuspecting worshipers desperate for a better in life in the context of poverty and disease, has stoked cynicism over the genuineness of exorcisms and miracle healings that have come to be identified with the Pentecostals.The manual of Mr Kojo's gadget, which was confiscated by police, says the user needs to be "creative" with the machine, while an Internet ad declares: "Without a doubt, you will shock people."On yigalmesika.com, the website for the gadget's makers, it is said that their products "are incredibly innovative, clever and a must for those who want to create miracles anywhere at anytime". It adds: "Everything you touch will turn to excitement."The gadget, which can be worn like a corset on the body or under the sole of a shoe, can generate up to 12 volts, enough current to "pleasantly" shock dozens at a time.According to the users' manual, "once your body is charged, you are able to transfer this electricity to other objects that are grounded or people".But according to Vincent Karuhanga, a general medical practitioner with Kampala Polyclinic, "12 volts is not really much. But if you apply the 12 volts on one person for a long time, it can damage the nerves."Mr Kojo, who was arrested and interrogated at Entebbe Airport on July 5 after he attempted to clear the gadget into the country, has claimed it was a birthday gift for his teenage children."This is an old machine; it's a toy. Children in developed countries play with it as a toy under the supervision of adults," said Mr Augustus Sewankambo, Mr Kojo's lawyer. "Obiri's twins who stay in the UK had come to Uganda to celebrate their birthday with him and use the machine on the ceremony."Yesterday, Mr Kojo denied any wrongdoing claiming he was being "victimised" by police and some fellow pastors although he did not say why he was being picked on.According to Mr Male, who is noted for his tenacity in exposing vices amongst the balokole, "one does not need to fall down" to be delivered."When a person is hit and he falls today, the following Sunday he will fall to the ground before he is hit," he said. "People do not know that that is a machine because they have been made to believe that Holy Spirit power is shocking power."Kampala lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi said Mr Kojo could face charges that fall under the general offence of false pretences with the possibility of serving up to five years in jail if found guilty."There are three possible offences: disturbing religious assemblies, stupefying in order to commit a misdemeanour, and even assault," Mr Rwakafuuzi said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY EPHRAIM KASOZI
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