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Residents of Balungu angry about activities of ‘baby-swinging’ church; demand its closure

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Residents in Balungu in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region are unhappy about the activities of the Jesus Spanner Miracle Church led by Reverend Atogpeelige Akongyaane. 

It would be recalled that in a video shared on social media, a woman could be seen swinging a baby and holding the limbs of the baby in a manner many people have found horrifying. It was gathered that the act, according to the Reverend Kwabena Atogpeelige Akongyaane, Head Pastor of Jesus Spanner Miracle Church, was a ritual in the church to welcome every newborn to the church.

He explained that the ritual was a directive from the Holy Spirit meant to fortify newborn babies in the church against spiritual attacks and other bad spirits that would attempt to attack them.

The Assemblyman for the Balungu Electoral Area, Edward Asekere who spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show explained that community members were worried about the emanation of negative news from the area. 

“On Friday, the Bongo District Commander invited the pastor and his wife and the woman who was seen in the video swinging the baby. They were detained. There are mixed reactions from the community. The youth are really angry about this. About 80 to 90 percent of the youth are calling for the closure of the church. Others called for his [the pastor’s] arrest before even the police came in. In fact, they had demanded that as a community leader, I report the case to the police.”

“The people are not happy and the reason they keep giving is that it has projected the community in a negative manner. The community is faced with so many challenges and we should be looking for solutions to these problems and not have to deal with these negative issues. But with this negative reportage, how would people want to come to help us,” he said. 

Head Pastor Kwabena Atogpeelige Akongyaane, his wife Mary Akongyaane, and four other members of Jesus Spanner Miracle Church are facing court proceedings today for allegedly mistreating an infant during a church service in Balungu, Bongo District. The incident, which occurred earlier this year when the baby was approximately 5 weeks old, gained significant attention after a video of the event went viral on social media, causing widespread public outcry.

In the video, which lasts approximately 2 minutes and 28 seconds, one of the suspects, a woman, is depicted holding the baby upside down with one hand and swinging it around. Additionally, the infant is thrown into the air multiple times, held in a precarious manner, and swung around amidst drumming and dancing, all while accompanied by other church members.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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