March 2, 2024

80 Ugandans repatriated from Ethiopia after being duped that they were going to meet Jesus

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Ethiopian authorities have facilitated the repatriation of 80 Ugandans who fell victim to a fraudulent scheme promising an encounter with Jesus.

The alleged mastermind behind this deception, Pastor Simon Opolot, had been wanted by a joint security team for swindling believers associated with Christ Disciples Church in Soroti, Eastern Uganda. 
Opolot convinced his followers to sell their possessions and prepare to meet Jesus, claiming to have received a divine vision that only those in Ethiopia would be chosen for this celestial encounter.

Convinced by Opolot’s words, the believers sold their belongings, entrusted all their money to him, and embarked on a journey through Moroto and Amudat districts, making their way to Ethiopia. The group undertook this pilgrimage between January and March of this year.

Upon their arrival in Ethiopia, authorities noticed the group’s weakened condition and became suspicious of their intentions. It was at this point that the Ugandans revealed their purpose: to meet Jesus and embark on a journey to heaven.

Ethiopian authorities decided to gather the arriving groups and confine them to a single location. They then reached out to their Ugandan counterparts, who facilitated the necessary documentation and arrangements for the Ugandans to return home.

According to Simon Peter Mundeyi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the returnees disclosed that Pastor Opolot had convinced them to fast for 40 days in preparation for meeting Jesus on the 41st day. Opolot had stressed that being in Ethiopia was a prerequisite for this divine encounter and claimed that the world would promptly end thereafter.
The Ministry expressed concern over the fact that a significant number of educated individuals, including teachers and civil servants from Soroti and neighboring districts, were part of the deceived group. Security officials are perplexed by their involvement.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs emphasized that the returnees faced grave risks, as their physical well-being had significantly deteriorated due to the arduous journey and lack of sustenance. Ethiopian authorities’ intervention played a crucial role in ensuring their safety.

Opolot’s actions bear similarities to those of Pastor Paul Makenzie in Kenya, who urged his followers to fast to the point of death for the sake of reaching heaven. Shockingly, more than 150 people were found dead and buried in a forest as a result of Makenzie’s influence.

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