A Ghanaian pastor is trending on social media after a circulating video shows him whipping a “pregnant” young woman and a man during church service for engaging in premarital sex.
In the Akan language, the event was live on the church’s satellite television channel on Wednesday with English translation heard faintly in the background as well as a cheering congregation.
Bishop Daniel Obinim, who is not new to controversies, was captured with a belt in one hand and a microphone in the other questioning while whipping the young shirtless man and the fleeing woman.
He questioned the young man, whom he described as a student, if he was financially capable of catering for the woman and a baby.
As he whips the two, the young woman whom he described as a beauty therapy apprentice, sought refuge from his wife who tried shielding her. Another pastor carried her back for more.
“I won’t forgive you. When you met her and you were having sex, did you think Prophet Obinim will not catch you? If he doesn’t catch you he will catch you in the room,” Obinim said while he whipped the man and asked other pastors to continue the flogging.
The event has been condemned by Ghanaians on social media and some civil society groups.
“The public should be really upset. We think that Bishop Obinim is going beyond his jurisdiction at this time. This is a criminal offence [and] he should be arrested by the Police,” the Director of Amnesty International Ghana, Lawrence Amesu, told a locally based radio station on Thursday.
The church, International God’s Way Church, quickly reacted to the viral video and criticisms by issuing a statement urging the public not to jump into conclusions and condemn their leader.
“We have observed that some people with evil agenda are using the video to castigate and spread false rumors about the Founder and General Overseer of International God’s Way Church.
“We will not tolerate any negative commentaries on the said video without any attempt to understand the content before,” it said.
Later on Thursday, Bishop Obinim told local radio station Joy FM that the two lived with him and their “sinful act” was revealed to him by God and they confirmed it.
The Lord revealed their sinful acts to me in the course of my ministration. – Bishop Obinim. #NewsNight— Joy 99.7 FM (@Joy997FM) August 18, 2016
I called them, questioned them and they confirmed it. I decided to discipline them then. – Bishop Obinim. #NewsNight— Joy 99.7 FM (@Joy997FM) August 18, 2016
Ghana’s Minister of Gender and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, said her ministry has already reported Bishop Obinim to the police and investigations have commenced.
Africanews transcribed the Akan language spoken in the video for easy understanding of the content. Find the transcription below the video.
Controversial Bishop Daniel Obinim
The Akan-speaking pastor who gained popularity for flashy colourful suits and shoes broke the internet in 2014 when a video showed him kicking woman in the stomach for her to get a baby girl.
He was accused of sleeping with his junior pastor’s wife in 2011. He agreed later and said in an interview that “it was God’s plan to prove he was human contrary to beliefs that he was an angel.”
So many other controversies, as documented by local website omgvoice.com, including his arrest for assault in 2012 have not affected his growing congregation negatively.
Follow social media reactions below.
Some people here using Obinim as yardstick for Christianity…you weren't even following Christ before Obinim became popular. GTFOH— Boatemaa Kuma-Duah (@nybkumad) August 18, 2016
— عبد الجليل (sungnuma) August 18, 2016
Joy997FMthe victims will not press charges against Obinim. They see him as god.
Masa mind your own business. More abuses are going on and its Obinim you want to worry. Go pamper your kids… https://t.co/IPJvw4GGIc— Aidoo Deeshini Tek9 (@aidooabdallah) August 18, 2016
He caters for them so he has the “ghanaian right” to whoop them. Who helps them if obinim abandons them??? https://t.co/dpDFTwqIWy— Vladimir Putin (@kwame_sika) August 18, 2016
Just heard a long explanation of Obinim defending his action on— Mr. Brainy ⭐️ (KwameMcJoseph) August 18, 2016
Starr1035Fm.How can Jesus direct you to do this? Obinim's Jesus I guess
So who are those still as blind as members of Obinim. He is seriously disgracing men of God…— Abraham Sedoame (@hamstar_hamstar) August 18, 2016
You guys are tweeting about Obinim when the pianist making the background effects deserves an award— J U X T E E Z (@jux_teez) August 18, 2016
Online crying get Obinim arrested by the same people who proposed banning social media? Plix plix hide your hashtag— Taj Osaze Mensa (@TOMkadelik) August 18, 2016
so the police no go arrest obinim oooook like if ebe kwaw kese way he go smoke weed for some corner like by now dey arrest am 😭😭😭..— Abuga Falid (@RealMr305) August 18, 2016
But #obinim should know that he lashing them is not gonna take the pregnancy away….he should have sat them down and speak sense to them…— kwameNBA (@kwame_nba) August 18, 2016