A 25-year-old woman from Benin Republic has shocked online users after sensationally claiming that she is God.
Vicentia Tadagbe Tchranvoukinni, a preacher, claims one of her key purposes as ‘God’ on earth is “to end the reign of the devil”.
Tadagbe-led church ‘Very Holy Church of Jesus Christ of Baname’ was expelled from Benin’s community of churches due to its atypical religious beliefs.
Tadagbe founded the church in 2009 – and since then, her influence has grown rapidly across Benin, despite negative press coverage she got early January after five of her followers suffocated to death.
She had told them to lock themselves inside closed rooms with burning incense and pray for deliverance, a prayer that turned fatal.
“These patients were all poisoned with carbon monoxide in the Porto Novo and Adjarra areas,” a health official told AFP.
However, it seems no amount of negative press coverage can change a section of Beninese people’s belief in Tadagbe, who enjoys a vast following in the region.
On special Sundays, thousands of followers climb up a hill in the Zou district in Baname, 130 kilometers north of the commercial capital Cotonou, to witness one of the country’s most seductive pastors, the Times Live reports.
“Just by walking up this hill, you are delivered and cured of many ailments,” she said on her website.
On January 8, violent clashes broke out between her followers and residents in the southern town of Djime, who said they “insulted and offended” traditional leaders during an “evangelisation mission”.
According to a Beninese newspaper La Nouvelle Tribune, the “warriors of the Church of Baname” came dressed in grey, armed with guns, machetes and clubs.
Local media reported two lives were lost in the clash.
Tadagbe says she fell from heaven with the divine mission of tackling devil and his agents in the world and that she is “perfect”.
The Church of Baname’s spokesman, “cardinal” Cesaire Agossa, insists that Tchranvoukinni is a divine messenger.
“People do not understand that the Holy Spirit creator of heaven and earth uses the body of perfect as its temple,” he told AFP.