The Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone has written a letter to the Minister of Social Welfare calling for justice over an attempted arson – burning of the Holy Bible and the massive destruction of Church Properties worth thousands of New Leones on Sunday 24th September 2023.
The sad incident took place at the Gateway Evangelical Church situated at the back of Hotel 5/10 in Freetown.
The said letter to the Ministry of Social Welfare Reads “We bring you Resurrection greetings in the matchless name of the Most High God, as we pray that the Lord Jesus will give you a successful term in office.
We write to bring to your attention several incidents of sacrilege, desecration, thuggery, trespass, attempted arson, malicious damage of properties, and physical violence, that occurred on Sunday, the 24th of September, 2023, involving one of our Member Churches in Kissy, Freetown, The Gateway Evangelical Church. The Church is situated at the back of Hotel 5/10.
These incidents are of grave concern to the Church of God and the Body of Christ in Sierra Leone, firstly because we have suffered a number of skirmishes over the years and, secondly, they pose great threats to the peace and security of our Nation, Sierra Leone. A certain individual, identified as Alpha Bangura, who has a land dispute with the Church, in relation for a piece of land adjacent to the edifice, led some thugs to the Holy Premises and caused severe damage to the Church properties and equipment worth millions of Leones. They also caused bodily harm and hurt, poured petrol in the premises, burnt tyres in an attempt to burn down The Church, and attempted to burn an Amputee Member of the Church (who had to jump out of his chair on one leg into the building when once fuel was poured around his chair). That sent other Church members who were around desperately climbing over the fence into the compound of the neighboring Hotel 5/10. Some of these thugs were reported to be holding cutlasses and wearing military fatigues.
Above all of these, our Holy and most Sacred book, the Holy Bible, was partially burnt, torn apart, and used to litter the Church from within the compound right on the pathway leading to the Edifice. A little girl who was using the bathroom was attacked and her beads around her waist were cut in what looked like an evil plan to violate her. The main perpetrator (Alpha Bangura), proceeded to threaten that they would burn down the residence of the Pastor of the Church. This is definitely life-threatening for Apostle Amos Lelleh and his family.
Shortly after after all these incidents, a cross section of our National Executive Committee and other Pastors went to the scene of crime and had firsthand assessment of the damage done during our fact-finding mission on Monday, 25th September, 2023. Honourable Minister. Ma, whenever the Holy Bible is set on fire and torn apart, it is obviously of great concern and this has a great propensity to cause religious unrest
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come…” (Acts 2:1)
in the Nation. Interestingly, Mr. Alpha Bangura has boastfully said he wants to see that happen and he holds no regrets.
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone will not renege in its commitment to serve as an umbrella Body for Pentecostals throughout Sierra Leone. We therefore, Hon. Ma, respectfully call on your Ministry, and all other related Ministries and Agencies, to ensure that justice is done in this instance and the perpetrators face the full force of the Law. We must have our freedom, respect, and full right of worship, as is enshrined in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.