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Paying for prayer: I went into debt, trying to secure a miracle



Paying for prayer: I went into debt, trying to secure a miracle

Evarline Okello breaks down in tears as she tells me she is hundreds of dollars in debt, after paying a pastor to pray for her.

She lives in a tiny shack in Kibera, a vast slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and can no longer provide for her four children.

Ms Okello hasn’t earned anything for months, she tells me as we talk on the telephone. So when she heard about a pastor whose prayers could make life better, she wanted to see him. He asked her for $115 (£96; 15,000 Kenyan shillings).

This is known as a “seed offering”: a financial contribution to a religious leader, with a specific outcome in mind.

Ms Okello borrowed the money from a friend, who took out a loan on her behalf. She had been told this pastor’s prayers were so powerful that she would see a return on her money within a week.

But the miracle never came. In fact things got even worse, she says. The loan her friend took out has ballooned due to unpaid interest. She now owes more than $300, and has no idea how she’ll pay it back. Her friend has stopped talking to her, and she still has no job.

“Things have become so difficult I have lost all hope,” she says.

source: BBC

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