25 October 2017

Leaders of the National Convention of the Assemblies of God Meet with the President of the Republic

From the President's Facebook Page Oct 20, 2017  - Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, Bairro Pité, 20 October – The leaders of the National Convention of the Assemblies of God on Friday paid a visit to the President of the Republic Francisco Guterres Lú Olo to, through prayer, offer him moral support for the performance of his political duties.

Still on this occasion, those in attendance expressed the commitment of the Evangelical Church Assembly of God to supporting the State institutions, in particular the President of the Republic.

About the Assemblies of God

The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas with 300 people at the founding convention. Today there are 13,023 churches in the U.S. with over 3 million members and adherents. There are more than 67 million Assemblies of God members worldwide, making the Assemblies of God the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination.

TAOG "Statement of Fundamental Truths" contains the 16 doctrines of the Assemblies of God. These are non-negotiable tenets of faith that all Assemblies of God churches adhere to. Four of these, Salvation, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Divine Healing, and the Second Coming of Christ are considered Cardinal Doctrines which are essential to the church's core mission of reaching the world for Christ.

"There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Pentecostalism is a "fairly modern movement within Christianity that can be traced back to the Holiness movement in the Methodist Church. A major focus of Pentecostal churches is Holy Spirit baptism as evidenced by speaking in tongues. There are approximately 170 different denominations that identify themselves as Pentecostal."

A Foreign Policy article about religion in Rwanda twenty years after the 1994 genocide notes that Charismatic or Pentecostal Christianity is on the rise, as survivors are leaving Catholicism for the more emotional (and more American) version of the Christian faith.

They tell the story of Rebecca Umwali, who survived the genocide by a stray bit of luck and who believes that she fell possessed by demons afterward. (https://www.richarddawkins.net/2014/08/the-pentecostal-revival-in-rwanda-3/):

“It was a world of bad spirits. They put an evil spirit into my body and then they sent it back out into the world.” For the next five years, she says, her body wandered the land, causing ill wherever it could. “I had the power of causing accidents on Earth. The demons gave me that power.”

Worse is the following observation from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason:

"Some young HIV patients are giving up their medicine after being told by Pentecostal Church pastors to rely on faith in God instead, doctors warn.

Medical staff told the BBC a minority of pastors in England were endangering young church members by putting them under pressure to stop medication.

Healing is central to Pentecostalism, a radical belief in the power of prayer and miracles."

The Children's HIV Association surveyed 19 doctors and health professionals working with babies and children in England; its members had reported hearing anecdotal evidence of HIV patients deciding to stop taking their anti-retroviral drugs because their pastors had told them to do so.

This kind of supernatural superstition has no place in a modern secular state.

The Assemblies of God are a dangerous christian fundamentalist group whose presence should be carefully considered. I wonder what the Archbishop of East Timor though of this event.

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