Liberia: Deliverance from Witchcraft or Moneymaking Venture? – Famous Pastor Browne under Scrutiny
Monrovia – Last week, it was posted on social media that two little children, less than seven years old, were seen on the street corner of Randall Street, in Monrovia, confessing of sucking their mother’s through the act of witchcraft. They were speaking during the street preaching of Pastor Browne T. Sneh of the Embassy of Heaven Church, located in New Kru Town, Bushrod Island. This famous street preacher is just commonly known as Pastor Browne to most Monrovians.
Report by Mae Azango [email protected]
In a relation to these children’s alleged confession to a crime done by witchery, a Facebooker, D. Othniel Forte, called on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to act quickly in ending the “abuse”.
“Someone at Gender needs to act. Yesterday, at Broad/Randall streets intersection, about 20 feet away from a bunch of police officers, this Pastor Browne displayed these children and accused them of witchcraft. It is my understanding that he takes them around town often. He claimed to be the Bishop of Gate of Heaven Ministry with five branches. He claims to have cleansed them but continues to drag them around making ‘confessions’ in total disregard of the damage, stigma and trauma he’s causing them. Religion should never be used to justify such. Let someone in authority please look into this. IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS PLEASE DO SOMETHING.”
This post caught the attention of many, who condemned Pastor Browne’s act, with some even terming it as “wickedness;” “reaping of financial benefits” and other names.
Lucia Sirleaf, responding to the post, specifically asked, “Where are their parents?”
S. Kpanbayeazee Duworko, a professor at the state-owned University of Liberia, too, responded but went further among other thing calling for public institution to monitor religious activities: “That’s what is done by clergy persons who preach prosperity gospel. He is using those kids to reap personal benefits – finances and materials – in the name of carrying out deliverance. There needs to be a government agency to deal with religions or religious institutions as done in other countries.”
Genevie Robertson, another responder, buttressed Prof. Duworko’s comment: “This is exactly what came to my mind when I saw him around Freeport with those kids.”
Miatta Stella Herring, a poster wanted matter taken a bit further and in a stern way: “There is something call[ed] citizen’s arrest. Look some able bodied men go grab that ignorant jackass, hold him down while some one call the police , the Church, Health Ministry, Gender Ministry and the press, if possible, stay there until those representatives come and take over immediately. THIS IS RIDICULOUS!”
Andrew Momolu Diggs, while asking if there had been update from the state, he termed it: “This is religion in its cruelest form!”
Elijah Komontey Gbarweay disclosed that he has seen Pastor Browne and a lady (to be identified) at least on two occasions with the same kids at different locations.
Facebook became inundated with comments why Pastor Browne was showcasing the children, which includes child rights abuse and moneymaking venture.
Responding to some of the allegations, Pastor Browne, via phone, told FrontPageAfrica that he has been a pastor since 1993 and throughout those many years, he has been healing and delivering many “demonic children,” and that his two children by marriage, were of no exception.
Speaking on these particular two kids, whose mother he is married to, the preacher said, “The kids and their mother live with me presently. When I met their mother, they were small, and since I have delivered them, they are now in the things of God. The Bible says we should teach our children the Word of God, so that they can grow in His presence.”
Pastor Browne said some government people had already questioned him. According to him, his lawyer was in the meeting and when it was established that the two kids are his children the people left because they didn’t see it as “kidnapping anybody’s children.”
“If you do not understand anything about a person ask question. Do not say what you do not know. Liberian people do not mind their own businesses; they just conclude that I was making money out of people’s children. The kids are mine; I am going to enroll them into school this coming school year,” said Browne.
“I discovered the two children were initiated into witchcraft, when they nearly killed their own mother, who is my woman, so I delivered them three months ago. I did not kidnap anybody’s children and is making money out of them as people claim. The children in question are my children and they and their mother live with me presently.”
When contacted regarding their action, Deputy Gender Minister Lydia-Mai Sherman said the Ministry had met with Pastor Browne and said they would make their report later. She, however, called on the public to help the Ministry to always report allegations of child abuse and it cannot do it alone.
“We confronted Pastor Browne at his church in New Kru Town. He has no intention of stopping; without the help of the police, because he has been in this business that he now runs a church. We are doing our report to the government and see how best we can work along with the Ministry of Justice to address this issue,” the Deputy Gender Minister stated.
However, Pastor Browne said during his 26 years of ministry, he has delivered and healed many demon possessed children and he has also trained many youths who are now pastoring their own churches and preaching the Word of God. This newspaper has been invited by Pastor Browne to attend the Sunday service at his church and to interact with the mother of the kids as a follow up to this story; so watch out.