By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
Strange deaths have struck a local church (name withheld) in Central Monrovia leaving four persons dead and two critically ill but the congregation has blamed the illness of its first member who allegedly contracted the virus to poison or spiritual attacks while the deceased’s family members believe that all the deaths or illnesses are the cause of the Ebola virus. According to the family of the latest victim, their daughter (name withheld) who was the wife of the ailing pastor (name withheld) met her untimely demise because of disbelief and that the pastor had even refused to alert them about the illness of their relative whom they had not seen for about one week on the church compound but he had always told them that she was fine.
The aggrieved family members blamed the church for not taking seriously the preventive measures including over-crowdedness and laying hands on sick people and the awareness regarding the symptoms that include fever, acute illness, vomiting and so on as they are still laying hands on people presumed to be under spiritual attacks.
They said this was in the case of the first person who was taken to the church for prayer and even though he was still alive, he was nursed by their in-law (pastor) in his house for four days with the mindset that it was in his community he got poisoned therefore he needed to be kept elsewhere to receive his healing.
They said it was with dismay on Saturday to learn that their in-law who had been to the church all week is currently taking treatment at an ETU and when they called his phone and inquired about their relative upon hearing the news about her death; he still informed them that she was fine.
“This is what happens when one acts too spiritual. This Ebola thing is nobody’s friend and nobody can say they are super-spiritual when it comes to the prevention of Ebola but these Pentecostal people always deny things. Look at the man who was sick now his family and even the church believed that he was poisoned and all those who attended to him including the pastors who laid hands are all victims,” the family members cried.
Meanwhile, other members of the community in which the church is located blamed the deaths on denial adding that disbelief and complacency are creeping gradually again in Liberia as people are beginning to mix the attacks of the Ebola Virus Disease with that of spiritual attacks.