Investigate Why Voice of the Martyrs Funded the Abuse of Nigerian Orphans
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In January 2016, while on a mission trip to Nigeria, we were told by some people there of great wickedness that was being perpetrated in Voice of the Martyrs work in Nigeria. Voice of the Martyrs is a ministry that purports to help persecuted Christians. In Nigeria, there were many victims of Muslim persecution, and it was one of their highest profile countries for fundraising. There were several projects in Nigeria, including the Stephen's Center - a home for children effected by persecution, Basic Response - which arranged for care of attack victims, and a prosthetic clinic - to provide limbs for those who had lost them.
We have returned twice after that initial trip to investigate, and are convinced that instead of helping the people of Nigeria, Voice of the Martyrs has been harming people in tragic and shameful ways. For the full story, please watch the video we've posted online, Persecuting the Persecuted. The wickedness we have uncovered includes the following:
- Isaac Newton, the director of the Voice of the Martyrs in Nigeria, has been accused by many credible witnesses of habitually sexually assaulting girls in the Stephen's Center
- Isaac continued this abuse by threatening the victims and their families with expulsion from the school or the removal of Voice of the Martyrs monetary assistance
- Isaac has retaliated against anyone who confronted him or tried to end his wickedness
- Isaac had stolen much of the funds that was provided by Voice of the Martyrs
- The children in the Stephen's Center have been mistreated and not provided with the food and supplies that they need
- Financial corruption has been rampant through Voice of the Martyrs in Nigeria
- Many victims have not received the money that was specifically raised to help them
Through our conversations in Nigeria and more than a year spent urging Voice of the Martyrs to act, we discovered wrongdoing closer to home. It seems that Voice of the Martyrs had reason to know what was going on, and their actions have covered up the evil that was done instead of fighting to end it. There are Voice of the Martyrs ministries in many different countries that although separate, often collaborate. VOM USA is the largest by far and gave most of the funding, and had the most oversight over Nigeria. In our video, you can find a more complete story of our interactions with VOM USA. But to summarize:
- VOM USA investigated these allegations years before we heard of them. They said their efforts uncovered nothing, yet in just a few days we could assemble a story from many witnesses and while it should not be sufficient for a court, it should have been sufficient to start a real investigation.
- We know that the allegations of molestation were reported to VOM USA in 2015, yet they did not investigate, but insisted that the abuse had been done by an employee who had died.
- VOM USA promised to have multiple outside investigations done, but no investigators ever contacted us for any information and we never heard about it again.
- VOM USA supported Isaac in his efforts to fire two employees who were reporting his abuse, without caring to investigate those allegations of abuse.
- Even when they eventually defunded Isaac, VOM USA gave land and goods worth over $100,000 to him - someone who they had every reason to believe was abusing those who he claimed to be helping.
- In our conversations with VOM USA we have on many occasions been told false or contradictory information.
- VOM USA seems to have been working to delay and distract us to avoid dealing with the issue.
- VOM USA has repeatedly denied any responsibility for what went on by claiming that VOM in Nigeria was a completely separate organization that they just funded. Yet that obscures the reality that they were far more involved and intertwined, VOM USA having managerial authority over Nigerian employees, making hiring and firing decisions.
Voice of the Martyrs has repeatedly failed to investigate serious wrongdoing when given the opportunity. They have sided with the oppressors instead of the victims. They have repeatedly proven themselves untrustworthy.
We believe that Voice of the Martyrs needs to bring in independent, outside investigators from a well-respected third party to conduct a full investigation and publicly release their findings. Donors need to understand why VOM USA did not fight to end this evil when it was brought to their attention. We need to understand who was involved in allowing this to happen, and how we can have confidence that it will never happen again in VOM USA.
"To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke" - Isaiah 58:6b
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light." - Ephesians 5:11-13
"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." - John 3:19-21
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