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| | |-+  Oloo, not Adam, was Godís first man, says sect
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Author Topic: Oloo, not Adam, was Godís first man, says sect  (Read 12694 times)
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« on: January 17, 2005, 12:21:34 PM »

Oloo, not Adam, was Godís first man, says sect --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Though the groupís structures are inspired by Christianity, there is no link between the two

By Anderson Ojwangí

It is stranger than fiction. That is the new religious group, which has taken Kisumu town and parts of Nyanza Province by storm.

Two Kilometres from the town centre in the sprawling Nyalenda slums, off the Kisumu-Nairobi highway, is the Yie Kuom Chier Ministry, which in Dholuo means Belief in Resurrection.

Wading through mounds of garbage and sewage overflow into the shantytown, one arrives at a semi-permanent structure with walls adorned with white paint.

In the unfenced compound is a traditional Luo house and a number of other structures. "Welcome to Yie Kuom Chier Ministry," offers a writing above the worship structureís entrance.

One of the houses is used as an office, while the others are worship centres for the sectís 300 followers.

Hanging on the inside walls of the main worship structure are photographs of the sectís spiritual leader Melkio Ondetto Wir, as well as calendars. There are well-arranged benches and tables covered in white cotton cloth.

Although the religionís systems are inspired by Christianity, there is no tangible link between the two; apart from that itís followers worship on Sunday.

There is a palpable contrast between the church and the Power of Jesus Around the World mission situated barely 500 metres away.

According to Pastor Ogui Ongwech Arodi, the group believes in Ondetto, founder of the Legio Maria sect, who died in 1991 and is considered as a messiah.

According to Arodi, the sect believes that Ondetto resurrected soon after his death and he undertakes divine interventions for the churchís followers.

"We do not believe in Jesus Christ, he is a stranger. We trust in Ondetto, who died and resurrected. He now intercedes for us whenever we seek a union with God. He is our messiah, just the way Jesus is to the Christians," says the pastor.

Prior to his death, Ondetto reportedly prophesied that the Legio Maria would disintegrate into factions on his departure.

The pastor says this has come to pass, as there are two splinter groups in Legio Maria today "and the divisions continue".

However, Arodi says the sect has no similarity with Legio Maria. The main distinction is that its followers do not carry the rosary and the holy cross. They also do not play drums and jiggles, which is common in the Legio Maria.

They sit on chairs during worship, while the Legio Maria never.

During prayers, they seek divine intervention through ancestors, such as Lwanda Magere, Simbi Nyaima and Nyamgondho the son of Obare, among others.

"Jesus Christ means nothing to us. We cannot seek intervention through a stranger, who has nothing to do with our culture," says Arodi.

The sect has its own "holy book" known as Singruok Nyasaye gi Nyithi Jarateng chakruok gi giko E piny (Godís promise to Africans at the beginning and the end of the World).

On the "bibleís" cover is an African map with names of the African countries where the religion has branches.

Prophets mentioned in the "bible" include Lwanda Magere, Odongo Menjo and Elijah Masinde. Lwanda Magere, according to the group, is the parallel of the Christian Solomon.

Arodi says the sect believes that the Luo, Kikuyu, Luhya and Kipsigis have common ancestors.

Then he goes ahead to retrace the beginning of the world. At the outset, he says, God created Oloo, and not Adam, as Christians believe. Oloo and his wife Hawa were created on the same day.

However, God hid Hawa and lifted Oloo to heaven, where an uproar ensued after he told His angels that henceforth Oloo would be given powers over the earth.

Seven among the angels (four females and three males) rejected the suggestion and God condemned them "to a world of darkness".

Subsequently Oloo was given the mantle to rule the earth and God frequently visited him until one day one of the cursed angels cheated Hawa into intimacy.

The affair resulted in the birth of Cain, who later killed his brother Abel ó both sons of Oloo and Hawa.

After this incident, God took Oloo to Ethiopia, where he gave him commandments to guide his lineage.

The church has its own calendar that has 35 days in a month. Their time setting is also unique. They translate their time literally ó six is noon, for instance.

In baptism, they do not immerse people in water or sprinkle the forehead. They use a plastic bottle to direct a jet of water into an open mouth.

The water, which is considered holy, is believed to bring about blessings and healing.

Kerina Akech, who was a Catholic before she joined the church last year, says her health has improved after she was baptised. Nightmares that vexed her every night have also ceased.

She says her elder sisters died before they were married and their spirits kept on disturbing her in her sleep.

Kerina believes that the recovery came about after Ondetto interceded for her to God. "When I was brought to the church for prayers, the nightmares ended, there were no more fights in my house and my husband, who had been jobless for a long time, finally got a job. Today our marriage is full of joy," she says.

The group was founded in 1992 in Bahr-El-Gazaal, southern Sudan, from where it spread its tentacles to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and Nigeria.

In Kenya, where it came into existence in 1995, it is in Kisumu and Ndhiwa, Homa Bay. There are seven branches in total.

In Uganda, which is the headquarters and where the following is highest, there are eight branches.

Zaire has three, Sudan six, Ethiopia five and Tanzania three.


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