UPDATE:: NC church known for ‘blasting’ out demons faces growing human-trafficking probeI have a feeling this story is about to get very interesting. For those unaware, the original reporting by Hemant Mehta, on the allegation of "slavery" can be found here. The church has responded to the AP report cited by Hemant,
An international investigation has picked up speed into whether a controversial Rutherford County church operated a human-trafficking pipeline with its South American congregations, U.S. Attorney Jill Rose says.
Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale has been the target of government probes in the past over whether it has mistreated children in its care or subjected its members to beatings and other abuse to expel sins, including “homosexual demons.”
But Rose says an ongoing investigation into how the church treated immigrants from its two Brazilian missions has gained traction in both countries.
The church’s distinctive practices, including a form of prayer known as “blasting” in which a church member is subjected to prolonged shouting and shaking to expel sinful impulses, have led to the church being called a cult.
We are appalled to learn of the allegations published by the Associated Press regarding foreign members of our church being “enslaved”. Many of these allegations are obviously preposterous on their face and they are all false. It is ludicrous that people now claim they were in an abusive environment at our church but admit that they traveled from Brazil to the United States many different times, returning repeatedly to their place of alleged enslavement.As Hemant notes in the original write-up, this is not the first time the actions of this church has drawn attention. (See also the Matthew Fenner trial here.)
Clearly, there is a group of people determined to stop at nothing in their campaign to destroy our ministry. We are confident that the truth will ultimately prevail and we remain hopeful that the public will see through these fabrications and see them for what they are. (more)
Word of Faith Fellowship responds to AP reports of "enslaved" members