Yesterday I met Pastor Patience from the Captain Jesus Power Ministry. She started by explaining that most Nigerian victims of trafficking are suffering from “water spirits”. They need spiritual healing to open their eyes to the shame and evil within them, and this Pastor Patience provides.
Pastor Patience is a middle-aged Nigerian woman, and she has a large ministry in Nigeria and a smaller one in Italy. She preached a fanatic mix of Christianity and Voodoo. Her practice with the women is no different. Her tactics exploit the word of Jesus, the fear of God and the fundamentalism of Voodoo.
Pastor Patience’s mission with the Captain Jesus Power Ministry is as unbelievable as it sounds. While she was showing me pictures of the grateful women she has saved, I realized the perpetual state of disbelief–I am still in. It went beyond Voodoo enslaving and Jesus saving, because if fear can lead you into prostitution then surely it can lead you out–this much was hopelessly logical.
What are our objectives in our work with trafficked women and prostitutes, and how does that dictate our methods? What roles should our values have in the work we do? When we say prostitution is bad, for whom is it bad and why?
The Captain Jesus Power Ministry reflects personal attitudes toward prostitution, which are not limited to Pastor Patience. Society’s deep moral contention with prostitution can be seen in the institutions it creates, making Captain Jesus a missionary of mainstream values.
To condemn and stigmatize women is to impose a moral superiority, which contradicts the practice of respect and values of freedom. To assume moral authority over someone or a group of people dissolves our ability to work with them. Our tactics will inevitably control and degrade them to affirm our moral superiority, rather than to challenge the dualistic hierarchy of power. By reinforcing the oppressive system of disempowerment and devalued self-worth our practice sadly subverts our values of equality and freedom.
If, upon reflection, you chose to reassert those tactics that impose morality and fear, then I kindly urge you to please send me your contact information and I will refer you for an invitation to the next Captain Jesus Power Ministry conference on “Human Rehabilitation and Social Reinstitution”.
P.S. Start clearing your calendars because it is scheduled for commencement this July.
Posted By Anya Gorovets (Italy)
Posted Jun 12th, 2006