Friday
December 15, 2017
Viernes, 28 de Julio de 2017

Brazilians funnelled as ‘slaves’ by evangelical US church, ex-members say

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The Word of Faith Fellowship church in São Joaquim de Bicas, Brazil. An Associated Press investigation has found that the church used its two branches in Latin America’s largest nation to siphon a steady flow of young labourers who came on tourist and student visas to its 35-acre compound in rural North Carolina.

The Word of Faith Fellowship church in São Joaquim de Bicas, Brazil. An Associated Press investigation has found that the church used its two branches in Latin America’s largest nation to siphon a steady flow of young labourers who came on tourist and student visas to its 35-acre compound in rural North Carolina.

André Oliveira in Spindale, North Carolina. When Oliveira answered the call to leave his Word of Faith Fellowship congregation in Brazil to move to the mother church in North Carolina at the age of 18, his passport and money were confiscated by church leaders — for safekeeping, he said he was told. Trapped in a foreign land, he said he was forced to work 15 hours a day, usually for no pay.

André Oliveira in Spindale, North Carolina. When Oliveira answered the call to leave his Word of Faith Fellowship congregation in Brazil to move to the mother church in North Carolina at the age of 18, his passport and money were confiscated by church leaders — for safekeeping, he said he was told. Trapped in a foreign land, he said he was forced to work 15 hours a day, usually for no pay.

A road sign pointing to São Joaquim de Bicas, a small Brazilian city about a 45-minute drive from Belo Horizonte. Over the course of two decades, Word of Faith Fellowship absorbed two churches in Brazil, in the southeastern cities of São Joaquim de Bicas and Franco da Rocha.

A road sign pointing to São Joaquim de Bicas, a small Brazilian city about a 45-minute drive from Belo Horizonte. Over the course of two decades, Word of Faith Fellowship absorbed two churches in Brazil, in the southeastern cities of São Joaquim de Bicas and Franco da Rocha.

This undated photo provided by a former member of the Word of Faith Fellowship from Brazil shows founder Jane Whaley with children at the church in Spindale, North Carolina. Members visit the Spindale compound from around the world, but Brazil is the biggest source of foreign labour and Whaley and her top lieutenants visit the Brazilian outposts several times a year, the Associated Press has found

This undated photo provided by a former member of the Word of Faith Fellowship from Brazil shows founder Jane Whaley with children at the church in Spindale, North Carolina. Members visit the Spindale compound from around the world, but Brazil is the biggest source of foreign labour and Whaley and her top lieutenants visit the Brazilian outposts several times a year, the Associated Press has found

Thiago Silva speaks during an interview at his home in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The former member of the Word of Faith Fellowship said he was excited when he boarded a plane in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte to fly to the church’s youth seminar in North Carolina in 2001. He was 18 and expecting to use his tourist visa to meet new people and visit the US.

Thiago Silva speaks during an interview at his home in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The former member of the Word of Faith Fellowship said he was excited when he boarded a plane in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte to fly to the church’s youth seminar in North Carolina in 2001. He was 18 and expecting to use his tourist visa to meet new people and visit the US.

Ana Albuquerque explains how she was spanked during an interview in Belo Horizonte. Bent over a desk, Albuquerque says church founder Jane Whaley and another member repeatedly spanked her with a flat piece of wood while screaming that she was “unclean” and possessed by the devil when she was 16.

Ana Albuquerque explains how she was spanked during an interview in Belo Horizonte. Bent over a desk, Albuquerque says church founder Jane Whaley and another member repeatedly spanked her with a flat piece of wood while screaming that she was “unclean” and possessed by the devil when she was 16.







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