• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Prayer Meeting Deaths: Generator Fumes or “Mysterious Dwarf”?

From Reuters:

At least 17 people died at a prayer meeting in rural Nigeria after apparently breathing noxious fumes from their power generator while asleep, police and witnesses said on Wednesday…

…One survivor, Linus Abba, said the victims were attacked by the evil spirits they were trying to exorcise.

“I heard strange noises and noticed that the room where we slept was filled with smoke, that is all I can remember because I fainted,” Abba told Reuters. “It was a terrible attack by the forces of darkness that we came to fight.”

From the Nigerian Tribune:

According to one of the survivors, Linus Abba, the prayer had just ended when he left for the toilet. He, however, said he lost consciousness and slipped in the toilet and could not remember any other thing until he later became conscious at a nearby community hospital.

From the Nigerian This Day:

One of the survivors, Linus Abba, recounted that the prayer had just ended when he entered the toilet to answer the call of nature, but lost consciousness after noticing smoke covering the whole room and a mysterious dwarf figure in human form.

He said he must have lost consciousness as he could not remember any other thing until he regained consciousness later at a nearby community hospital.

Across the border in Ghana, a current bestseller is The Revival of Secular Humanism, by two prominent Pentecostal leaders. The authors apparently complain that the goal of humanism is to undermine faith in the Bible, and that placing a priority on reason and science leads to child pornography.

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