A Benin Republic-based female preacher, identified as Vicentia Tadagbe Tchranvoukinni, has claimed that she fell from heaven with the divine mission of tackling devil and his agents in the world, adding that she is ‘Perfect’ and ‘God’s Holy Spirit’.
According to Vanguard, the 25-year-old also declared that she is God and her mission on earth is to defeat the devil.
A ministry of health official in the country, had said on Tuesday that at least five people suffocated to death in her church after she ordered followers to lock themselves inside sealed rooms with burning incense
The “Very Holy Church of Jesus Christ of Bename”, a controversial sect which claims thousands of members, had told followers to spend Saturday in a sealed room praying for the holy spirit.
While speaking exclusively to AFP, the health official, who asked to remain anonymous said; “These patients were all poisoned with carbon monoxide in the Porto Novo and Adjarra areas. There are currently five deaths and nine people in intensive care,” the official added.
The followers died “after inhaling the incense while they prayed,” he said. “Some may have fallen on the embers placed in the rooms where they locked themselves for the prayer.”
The church was founded in 2009 by a young woman, Vicentia Tadagbe Tchranvoukinni, often referred to as “Perfect”, who says she is “God the Holy Spirit.”
Tchranvoukinni regularly vilifies other faiths, including voodoo — an official religion in the tiny West African nation — and Roman Catholicism, stoking tension in the community.
On January 8, violent clashes broke out between residents in the southern town of Djime and cult followers who had “insulted and offended” traditional leaders during a “mission of evangelisation”, according to one local resident.
No official report has been released but several people were injured and vehicles burned, the source said.