Church leaders detained after followers hospitalized
Three members of a new Christian sect in Wera Sub-County, Amuria district, have been arrested for allegedly manipulating their followers against modern treatment and making them drink borehole water. The trio, identified as John Steven Obelon, Emmanuel Okello, and Ben Auto, are sons of the sect leader, Sheronat Alamo, the founder of the newly founded St. Sheranat Church in Olenai Village.
The church has been recruiting and harboring followers at the residence of Alamo Sharonat, who changed her name to Alipan Serinat after allegedly being touched by the Holy Spirit. She has been manipulating her congregation and victims into living a solitary life away from the community.
According to Oscar Gregg Ageca, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman, the church members were confined to the worship center and prohibited from drinking tap water in preference for spring water. They were also prohibited from seeking medical attention from hospitals.
Some of the followers developed ailments after days of not eating or drinking water. They were rushed to Amuria Hospital for medical attention.
The church is not registered and is housed in grass-thatched huts with no sanitary facilities for its members. The police have started investigations for the offense of Doing Acts Intended to Cause Grievous Harm and any others as may be preferred by the Director of Public Prosecution.
In February, hundreds of people in Teso went to Ethiopia over alleged fears of doomsday. They sold their property to facilitate their journey and have not yet returned to Uganda.