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Tons of of kids rescued from spiritual cult after police raid in Zimbabwe | World Information

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An alleged cult chief claiming to be a prophet has been arrested after 251 kids getting used for affordable labour had been rescued from a compound in Zimbabwe.

Police stated Ishmael Chokurongerwa, 56, was main an apostolic sect with greater than 1,000 members at a farm about 21 miles northwest of the capital, Harare, the place the kids had been staying alongside different believers.

Authorities discovered 16 graves – together with seven belonging to infants – once they raided the sect on Tuesday.

The youngsters, most of whom had no start certificates, had been getting used to “carry out numerous bodily actions for the good thing about the sect’s management,” police spokesman Paul Nyathi stated after the raid.

“Police established that each one kids of school-going age didn’t attend formal training and had been subjected to abuse as low cost labour, doing handbook work within the title of being taught life expertise,” he added.

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Police with canines on the raid. Pic: AP

Chokurongerwa, who known as himself the Prophet Ishmael, was arrested along with seven of his aides “for legal actions which embody abuse of minors,” Mr Nyathi stated.

Mr Nyathi stated extra particulars shall be launched “sooner or later as investigations unfold”.

A state-run tabloid, H-Metro, which accompanied police in the course of the raid, confirmed police in riot gear arguing with feminine believers in white clothes and head cloths who demanded the return of kids who had been put right into a ready police bus.

It’s not clear the place police took the kids, and a few ladies who accompanied them.

Certainly one of Chokurongerwa’s followers, who H-Metro stated believed the compound was their “promised land”, was seen in a video posted on X by the newspaper, and heard shouting: “Why are they taking our kids? We’re comfy right here. We do not have an issue right here.”

Ishmael Chokurongerwa, 56, a "self styled" prophet is seen at his shrine on a farm about 34 kilometers (21 miles) north of the capital, Harare, Wednesday, March, 13, 2024. Chokurongerwa led a sect with more than 100 members. Zimbabwean police on Wednesday said they arrested the man claiming to be a prophet of an apostolic sect at a shrine where believers stay in a compound and authorities found 16 unregistered graves, including those of infants, and more than 250 children used as cheap labor. (AP Photo)
Ishmael Chokurongerwa. Pic: AP

Certainly one of Chokurongerwa’s aides who gave an interview to the newspaper stated: “Our perception shouldn’t be from scriptures, we acquired it straight from God who gave us guidelines on how we are able to enter heaven.

“God forbids formal training as a result of the teachings learnt at such colleges go in opposition to his dictates,” he stated, including that “God informed us that it will not rain if we ship our kids to high school”.

“Take a look at the drought on the market, but we’re receiving rains right here. We have now the reward of a non secular ear to listen to God’s voice,” he stated.

Apostolic teams are fashionable within the deeply spiritual southern African nation. Whereas there was little detailed analysis on Apostolic church buildings in Zimbabwe, UNICEF research estimate it’s the largest spiritual denomination, with round 2.5 million followers in a rustic of 15 million.

Learn extra on Sky Information:
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Hundreds of children being ‘trafficked’ from Zimbabwe on buses saved

Among the teams adhere to a doctrine demanding that followers keep away from formal training for his or her kids in addition to medical look after members who should as a substitute search therapeutic by their religion in prayer, holy water and anointed stones.

Others have lately begun permitting their members to go to hospitals and enrol kids at school following intense campaigns by the federal government and non-governmental organisations.

In April final 12 months, police in Kenya arrested a pastor who allegedly ordered congregants to starve to death in order to meet Jesus.

Mackenzie and 29 associates from the doomsday cult had been charged with the murder of 191 children final month.

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