For ages, Pastors and Pentecostal leaders ruled the sex scandal scene.
Hardly any day or week went by that we didn’t hear of church heads that had taken advantage of their positions.
This week, it’s a Nigerian pastor based in the United Kingdom who is the news for all the wrong reasons.
Reuben Chizor has been found guilty of raping two teensaged 12 and 14 years in his church basement.
According to New York Daily News, Chizor who is the General Overseer and Founder of Hope Restoration Ministries located in Queens was taken to court by the Queens District Attorney, Richard Brown.
The persecutor said that the 56-year-old pastor had constantly abused the girls while pretending to minister to them.
During the trial, the sisters revealed that Pastor Chizor had raped the 14-year-old first. The younger one was raped two days later. This continued for two whole years before they could summon the courage to report the matter.
A Queens District Court has found him guilty and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
Although this is quite unfortunate, this is not the first time a pastor has been involved in this kind of a mess. So, it’s been pastors but never Imams.
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a story of an Imam that was in a similar mess.
The Sun UK reports that 81-year-old Mohammed Haji Sadiq has been sexually abusing young girls during Quran classes.
Reportedly, the veteran Imam, who is referred to as ‘uncle’, has been targeting girls aged five to eleven!
This happened whilst he was supposedly ‘teaching’ at the Madina Mosque in Cathays, Cardiff. He was a teacher at this mosque for 36 years!
The site said that he would call them to sit beside him during class and proceed to touch their stomach, chest and private parts. He would also rub their body against the inside of his legs.
One of the victims, who is now 26, gave details of the abuse that she suffered at his hands.
According to her, she started attending his classes at six years old. She was there for four years.
During her statement, she said she was abused several times per week.
In her words: “You would be called and you had to sit next to him and recite so he could check if you could do it.
“He would pull you towards him and rub your body against the inner part of his legs.
“Sometimes it would be almost like a headlock.”
The anonymous woman’s interview with the Police was used in court. She also appeared for the trial via a video link.
Sadiq was taken to court on seven counts of indecent assault of a girl under 14, and eight counts of assaulting a girl under 13 by touching.
He denied all the charges against him. But, he was still found guilty of all these charges except one of indecent assault.
Reacting to the case, Judge Stephen Hopkins QC said: “The jury has found you guilty on most compelling evidence of sexually assaulting four children when you were supposed to be teaching them the Koran.”
Crown Prosecution Service spokesman also said: “These women have shown remarkable courage in coming forward to speak about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Sadiq when they were young girls.
“Sadiq was a respected figure in the community with considerable influence and power which makes the bravery of his victims all the more admirable.
“The evidence given by these women meant the prosecution was able to present a compelling case to the jury, resulting in the guilty verdicts returned today.”
Sadiq was granted conditional bail. While on bail, he was be electronically tagged. He also had a curfew from 1:30 am to 7 am every night.
He is going spend 13 years in jail.
It is very sad and unfortunate that this is the one thing that pastors and Imams now have in common.
Featured Image: The Herald Nigeria
Inset Image: photojoiner