• Is the misuse of leadership to further one’s selfish interests, using authority to manipulate and maltreat others by deed or words that demean, humiliate or shame the natural worth and dignity of a person, false accusation and repeated negative criticism.
  • Is using religion to back control
  • Is Playing God with people’s life
  • Is Bewitched/ Mind controlling
  • Is Being deceived with relationship
  • Is Alcoholism
  • Is drug taking
  • Is isolation or separation from group/church/family
  • Is a form of emotional / mental abuse by undermining a person’s reasoning and logic Skills, Restricting a person’s understanding of the world, affecting relationships with others.
  • Is more severe than physical abuse, because it’s the cause of all sorts of social problems and inequalities in various aspects of society today
  • Is an INFRINGE OF 11 counts of YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS

If you want to find out if your church/ Group is abusive or you are a victim of abuse, click here


Spiritual Abusers may appear very humble, self-effacing, shun titles and public appearances, but when you get close to them; they abuse because of:

  • Self Preservative  
  •  Jealousy       
  •  Differences of opinion       
  •  Lust for power      
  •  Pride       
  •  Blindly willing followers   
  • Political or budget considerations as threat to position  
  • Looking for a scapegoat for problems in life/ ministry for self in flinted situations   
  • Fear of failure or exposure   
  •  Incredibly calculating & manipulative & authoritative
  • Lack of Empathy. Empathy is the ability to perceive, to understand, to sense, to feel what another person is experiencing.
  • In witnessing for Jesus many evangelicals talk to people, not with people. It is impossible to truly talk with anyone about Jesus, or anything else for that matter, without knowing the other person. Authentic ministry is based upon knowing a person.
  • In like manner, evangelicals who try to minister without knowing the sheep in an empathic manner will most likely injure it.


  • Exercise control by questioning loyalty of those who disagree with them.
  • Discipline those who contradict them
  • Ensures that meeting with you is an unequal confrontation by gathering people around him who do not question the way he uses authority
  • False accusation – by accusing victims of wrong motives and improper attitudes
  • Victims being manipulated by false accusations will not be able to submit to the process of reconciliation due to false judgement
  • Twisted methods of false accusation from the start to avoid restoration
  • Trap to accuse – no Matt.18 (vse. 33) attempt to work things out
  • Portrayed as enemies, rebellious
  • Others / congregation told to avoid you
  • Betrayed by people you love
  • Shunned by those friends of week before and now nervously avoiding you – even at the price of treasured friendships. (Unfortunately one man’s evil intent could produce so much destruction in life and put an end to so many relationships that you thought were real)
  •  Coerced resignation of elders who opposed him.
  • Flattery to nurture people’s feelings of inclusion & importance
  • New titles and positions fabricated to reward as a team player
  • Compulsory meetings
  • Appoint an informant as a sign of loyalty to leadership, he lets them know of anyone who is questioning or struggling

HUMAN RIGHTS and SPIRITUAL ABUSE in the Christian community

Human’s are made in God’s image and stand equally before God in great variety. This biblical truth is one of the greatest pillars of human rights movement. Justice is essential to the gospels and our relationship to God is always tied to each other, with the following ten reasons:

  • We are equal before God
  • We are asked to live in Peace
  • We are free and Healed in Christ Jesus
  • We are Justified and have justice from God
  • Its good news to the poor and oppressed and abused
  • Its part of Jesus favourite topics - kingdom of God "A kingdom centred mission will always point at the socio- political implications of conversion".
  • Righteousness flows into Justice
  • Evangelism flows into social action
  • Biblical Justice is structural love – Strict justice with fairness embedded in the structures of society with grace, mercy and forgiveness
  • There is no peace without Justice- God’s justice and forgiveness are seamless interwoven.

My concern is that

People went to the church for healing and safety, but came out bruised. Unfortunately people get spiritually abused by Leaders of certain churches/ religious groups and they are told to move on and let God deal with them, while it is evident that their actions have led their victims

  • Some scared for life never to enter a Church / religious group again
  • Some in mental home
  • Some living in fear and lack of trust

How many people must be hurt before we address and see spiritual abuse for what it is?

Do we turn our heads and allow spiritual abuse to continue?

Pretend it never happens, because it didn’t happen to you

Pray and no works to stop it, and allow another victim to encounter the same Abuser?


Spiritual Abuse is real and it must be addressed for what it is whether in the church or outside.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil”

Abusers are to be held accountable and victims helped by the church/ Group, as did O.T Prophets and Jesus Christ and every New Testament author devoted their ministry addressing it.

In the old testament, God instructed prophets to radically send message out against spiritual abuse as

Ezekiel 34: 5 –So they scattered because there was no shepherd and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals

He wants them to know and us to know that both neglect of the sheep & Abuse of the sheep directly resulted in the wandering of sheep

Jesus confronted people who used their time honoured traditions as a cloak for spiritual abuse as it is today amongst certain groups/churches. Lord Jesus Christ rebuked Spiritual Abusers in

 Matt.23: 13Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisee, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to”.

Which means they hinder a person from having a relationship with God and even while promising them the best most godly, committed relationship possible.

In the new testament, Paul was explicit concerning motives of spiritual Abusers in

2Corin.11: 13 he calls them “ ……false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ”

2Cori.11: 20 he says their purpose is to enslave to exploit and take advantage of Christians

Galatians 2:4 he says the motive that drove false teachers is spiritual slavery.

Gal.2: 12 he highlights on the motivation to gain control over others to build a spiritual empire with themselves as leaders (emperors by fear and intimidation as the Pharisee before them.)

Gal.6: 12-13 Paul gives us clues of what Spiritual Abusers had to gain from drawing people under them are

  • to impress others
  • To avoid persecution
  • To gain bragging rights on account of converts

We have the responsibility to offer comfort and help those who are oppressed, needy, weak and distressed from constant onslaught of abuse with reassurance and protection, as highlighted in the following scriptures:

Gen.42:21 We are guilty concerning our brother as we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us and we would not hear hence this distress come upon us.

Jere.22: 3 Thus saith the Lord, Execute ye judgement and righteousness and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow neither shed innocent blood in the place.

We are responsible to hold the Abuser accountable, to admonish him, to judge (investigate and discern right from wrong) and to encourage him/her to change their ways.

Even in the Old Testament God sent his prophets to warn those who were doing wrong of consequences without compromise in

Ezekiel 3:17 – 19. “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die fortheir sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself".

In New Testament, Jesus Christ devoted time to address it in

Matt.23: 23-24 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel".

Luke 22:25-26."Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves".

While the N.T authors mentioned it by encouraging recognition of sin, repentance & change in ways through condemnation of actions.in scriptures as :-

James 5:19-20 "My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."

Gal: 6:1 – Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

2Thess.3: 6 – After several admonishing, if the Abuser refuses to change their ways, they are to be marked/ shamed to the end that they realise the seriousness of their sin & repent.

Leaders are not above the law, for the reasons they spiritually abuse their victims, financially, exploit & enslave members with defamatory is because they have not been held by victims of real accountability to corporate body like Charity Commission and to the Equality and Human Right Commission for their actions to damage a victim’s person, profession and in society by words to discredit, demean, shun, avoid or ridicule them by false accusation as it is infringe of Article 10(2) of the convention of Human rights for defamation

For more information click on human rights page.