Sierra Leone: Christian preacher arrested over hate speech against Muslims

Freetown, Sierra Leone (PANA) - Nigerian-born Evangelist, Victor Ajisafe, was arrested on Tuesday by the police after he verbally attacked Muslims and the religion of Islam in his daily sermon.

Ajisafe condemned Islam, describing it as “idolatry” in a sermon that was leaked on social media on Monday.

“The pastor was arrested for two reasons, firstly for uttering hate speech and secondly for his own protection after we received credible threats against his life,” Assistant Inspector General, Alrfred Karrow Kamara, told the media.

Police say Ajisafe has confessed to making the utterances, and they are gathering evidence to prosecute him.

Ajisafe is the leader of the Sanctuary Praise Church in Sierra Leone and has thousands of worshipers across the country.

The Ministry of Social Welfare has since shut down all of his churches across the country and his license suspended indefinitely.

The Independent Media Commission has also summoned the radio station owned by the church, Radio I Am. The Manager of Radio I Am has been invited since Tuesday to appear in front of the complaint body of the IMC. Radio I Am broadcast the sermon live during the service, the commission says the content of the sermon goes against the professional media code of the country.

The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone have disassociated themselves from the pastor's comment.

Muslim leaders in the country have called on Muslims to stay calm and allow authorities to deal with the issue.

Sierra Leone has enjoyed a good history of religious tolerance, but many fear that this latest episode in the country’s history might hinder that tolerance.
-0- PANA MJN/VAO 27Sept2017

27 september 2017 15:04:01

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