SPINDALE, N.C. — According to this morning’s Associated Press report, the Word of Faith Fellowship was reported to have used its two church branches in Latin America’s largest nation to siphon a steady flow of young laborers.” Three ex-congregants told an assistant U.S. attorney Jill Rose that the Brazilians were being forced to work for no pay. The Brazilian passports were seized and the visitors worked for church members.
Sixteen Brazilian former members told the AP they were forced to work, often for no pay, and physically or verbally assaulted. Scores of police reports and formal complaints lodged in Brazil were collected by the AP about the church’s harsh conditions. The Associated Press report can be read in its entirety here.
In a second AP report, members tell their stories of their visits to the mother church in Spindale and their relationships to WoFF leaders.
“Former members of the Word of Faith Fellowship church have outlined how leaders of the secretive evangelical sect took control of two branches in Brazil, imposing harsh rules and creating a human pipeline of young laborers who were brought to the United States and forced to work for little or no pay.”
Associated Press reporter Mitch Weiss reported from Spindale and Charlotte, North Carolina; Mohr from Marlborough, Massachusetts, and Jackson, Mississippi; Prengaman from Sao Joaquim de Bicas and Franco da Rocha, Brazil. AP writer Tamara Lush contributed from Tampa, Florida.