Nigerian pastor to be hanged after setting church members alight

A Nigerian pastor is on death row after dousing several church members in petrol and setting them ablaze.

One congregant died as a result and Emeka Ezeuko, known as Reverend King by his followers, was sentenced on Thursday to death by hanging. 

Nigeria is ranked 12th on a new list of countries where Christians face the most persecution but at the same time the church faces huge scandals with pastors ending up in court.Open Doors

He denied all six charges against him, saying his victims were burnt by an electrical generator exploding, according to local media reports. The case has developed into a large-scale scandal in Nigeria with allegations of sexual abuse made against Ezeuko who made followers call him God or Jesus 'all the time'.

One witness said he had repeatedly abused her and was made to serve him meals naked. The same victim said she had had four abortions after Ezeuko impregnated her multiple times.

The court in Lagos heard Ezeuko had tortured his followers to force them into confessing to sex outside marriage before setting them alight as a punishment for their sin.

But one witness to the trial said the renegade pastor reacted defiantly to his sentencing.

'I am not afraid to be hanged. After all Jesus Christ was hanged. That was how Jesus was hanged and the crowd was against him. It is a great honour for me to follow the footpath of the Lord Jesus Christ,' he shouted to the courtroom.

More News in World