By Foday Moriba Conteh
During a Press Conference held on Friday 14th October, 2022 at the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone Office on Waterloo Street in Freetown, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone, unequivocally condemned a planned Wonde Society initiation ceremony slated to take place in Taima, Moyamba District.
President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone, Bishop Akintayo Sam-Jolly, revealed to newsmen that there are contents making the rounds on Social Media relating to an initiation ceremony to be conducted by the Wonde Society in Taiama, Moyamba District.
He said that the said initiation, if undertaken, as stated on social media, poses an infringement on the rights of Christians living in that part of the country.
The President of PFSL maintained that investigations conducted by some members of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone on the ground revealed the following: Firstly, there was a meeting called by the Paramount Chief of Kori Chiefdom, in which the Chiefdom Speaker, Chief Yambasu declared the decrees of the Wonde Secret Society before the masses and emphasised that everybody must obey them regardless of his or her status, tribe or religion.
He continued that it was also stated that no electronic instruments (keyboards, P.A system, guitars etc,) should be used in the Chiefdom during the four months of their initiation activities which he said simply means no other music is to be heard in the Chiefdom other than the society’s music.
Bishop Akintayo Sam-Jolly pointed out that the authorities also stated that no outdoor programs should be held by churches which include crusades and revivals and that they have indicated that a non-member should be around on the day of commencing the ceremony.
He disclosed that the foregoing laws are not only an infringement on fundamental human rights and freedom of worshippers but they have the potential to spill beyond what the Wonde society had prescribed.
“In all of these, a certain Lawa-Kigba Madiye from Tongie Gorama Mende Chiefdom, Kenema District is trying to refute the above details but he has confessed that he was not present in any of the meetings nor does he reside in the chiefdom. So his statement is taken with a ‘pinch of salt,” he maintained.
The President stated that matters of such nature have the tendency to undermine the peace and security of the nation and the socio-economic livelihood of the people, adding that these secret society operations are threatening Christianity in some regions, affecting education, and causing much unrest as young men flee districts stating that currently some Christians are also planning to evacuate.
He described the ordeals that Christians in Kailahun and Kenema districts are facing as a gross violation of their human rights and should therefore be condemned unequivocally.
Commenting on its action point, he disclosed that PFSL has adopted a spiritually proactive step by calling all Pentecostals and God-fearing Sierra Leoneans to join in a three-day fasting that commenced on Thursday 13th and lasted till Saturday 15th October 2022.
“We are praying to overturn every planned initiation, stop every evil agenda designed to hinder Christian activities, abort plans of abduction, stop the spread of darkness, and reverse evil plots against the Church and people of Sierra Leone,” he concluded.
Other members present, including the Secretary General of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone, Rabbi Tamba Eric Mbayo, and Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone, Kambia District, Bishop Simon B. Kamara also delivered statements during the press conference.