Pastor detaining patients in church claims ‘his people’ require prayer, not hospitalization

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Police in Soroti City have arrested a ‘man of God’ accused of detaining critically ill patients at his church under the guise of praying for their healing instead of allowing them to go to the hospital for medical treatment.

Simon Peter Ogoba, the lead pastor at Galilee Ministry of Christ Church in Amen “B” cell, Amen ward in Soroti City West, who is currently in police custody, was found confining over 30 people, including five critically ill patients at his church. This followed a police operation that raided his church on Monday.

According to Edison Obukulem, the East Kyoga police spokesperson, their operation was based on intelligence received from locals.

The police say that when the pastor was asked to explain why he detains patients, he stated that the patients come to him with different health complications, and he began praying and fasting for them to receive spiritual healing.

The pastor also added that most of the patients had visited several hospitals, including Mulago Hospital, but were not healed, which led them to seek prayers from him.

One of the patients, Emmanuel Okello, is quoted as saying he was diagnosed with cancer in 2023 but did not receive adequate treatment in local hospitals.

“I preferred God’s intervention and came to the church. There has been some improvement now. I am willing to go back to Mulago Hospital, but I don’t have transport,” he said.

Meanwhile, the individuals were rescued and taken to Soroti Regional Hospital for medical attention.

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