Sierra Leone’s over 50 years of religious harmony is
under threat thanks to the bizarre revelations of a
young woman.
Sister Linda Ngaoja’s ‘heavenly journey’ a few weeks
ago has turned her into the equivalent of a movie
star, but at the risk of destabilising a country
renowned for its religious tolerance.
The 28-year-old (some say 26) college student claims
to have “died” and gone to hell before being taken to
heaven.
While in hell, former Libyan strongman Muammar
Gaddafi told her he wanted the mosque he built in
Sierra Leone destroyed and replaced with a church.
She also has a message from the late president of
neighbouring Guinea, Lansana Conte, who wants all
the mosques in his country brought down and
replaced with churches.
Sister Linda “died” after a brief illness. She said
because of her worldly crimes in her previous life, she
suffered a harrowing experience in hell, where she
met her parents and a host of other renowned people
including a renowned Sierra Leonean lawmaker, and
the late US star Whitney Houston, “who are all
suffering in Hell.”
All of these people had messages for their relatives
and friends who are alive.
Sister Linda said if a “rapture” had occurred at that
moment only five people in Sierra Leone could have
survived it (meaning going to heaven), and these
included three of her pastors and two other people.
While her audio tape comes across as a rich blessing
for cassette sellers, religious leaders are left with the
unenviable task of cleaning the mess Linda`s
revelations left in their wake.
Breeding confusion
“We take and consider this our responsibility to
judge every such revelation by the standard of the
written words of God,” said Bishop Archibald Cole,
president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra
Leone (PFSL).
He told a press conference on Tuesday that since the
young girl was purportedly speaking from a
Pentecostal platform, Catholics might think her
revelations were the views shared by all Pentecostals
“and so we consider her statements…..will create
confusion and breed division among the Christian
community in Sierra Leone.”
According to Linda’s revelations, all Catholics and
Muslims are going to hell.
She also had a message for President Ernest Bai
Koroma (a Christian), to replace all mosques in Sierra
Leone, which is a Muslim-dominated country, with
churches.
“We consider such statements to be inflammatory
among the Christian and Muslim communities,” said
Bishop Cole.
“The revelation has the capacity to undermine the
peace and security of this nation. We want to
maintain the peace and security that God has given
us, as Christ is an author of peace and not
confusion.”
But already Linda’s “revelations” are causing
confusion as there are reports of bitter arguments
over them.
Two people stabbed each other over an argument as
to whether the revelations were true or not, reported
the Awareness Times of Freetown, a daily.
But it is not just Muslims and Catholics who have
reasons to be offended.
Linda is critical of the “born again” pastors in Sierra
Leone who she said are more into money than
spreading the message of God.
Her story broke on a popular religious radio called
Believers Broadcasting Network (BBN), with the aid
of her pastor.
Custodians of Truth
A member of the Faith Healing Bible Church, one of
three churches that were endorsed in the revelations,
told Africa Review that there is concern about her
security because of her testimonies.
The Church has cancelled a special open prayer at
the national stadium on this ground. The intention
was to pray for Sierra Leone in light of the
revelations.
They will be holding instead a 7-day fasting and
indoor prayer session. This, according to sources, is
backed by President Ernest Bai Koroma, who is said
to have met with the young woman to receive his
message.
A majority of pastors in the country see Linda as “of
the devil” and they say she needs deliverance.
A few others express fear that her testimonies could
spark forth a new sect, with reports of calls for a ban
on the circulation of her tapes.
“The real reason is that Sister Linda had threatened
to go over the radio and expose some of these
pastors who refuse to change in line with the
message she brought,” said Bernard Wilson, a
member of the Faith Healing Bible Church, obviously
a staunch supporter.
“It could be why the pastors are against her,” Mr
Wilson said.
But others read into the whole thing infighting
among Sierra Leone’s small but powerful Nigerian-
inspired ‘born again’ churches.
“We as Ministers of the gospel are called to be
watchmen and to be custodians of truth, and to be
sure that the integrity and accuracy of the gospel is
maintained… we are charged to address this issue
that has the potential to bring distraction and
obstruct the peace of the nation,” said Apostle
Akintayo Sam Jolly, Secretary of PFSL.

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