Some of the pastors in a Nigerian-owned church in the U.K, SPAC Nation, have been accused of forcing young members to sell their blood and donate the money to the church as a form of fund-raising.
The church is run by 39-year-old Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, a Nigerian who took up residence in Britain in 2005.
In a report by HuffPost, the practice is known as “bleeding for seed” in the church and has been described as “vampire-like” exploitation by outraged critics of SPAC Nation.
Some members donate blood and are paid up to £100 by medical trial companies. This money is then handed over to the church’s pastors as a method of fund-raising to support the church.
There is always a set target which could be as much as £1million for church members, the pastor then put pressure on church members to meet this target via his sermons.
The people donating could be underaged and they often donate due to pressure to meet targets. In a similar investigation by HuffPost, “SPAC Nation is being alleged of forcing young people to take out loans to donate to the church.”
One of the blood donors said the blood was collected by Trial 4 US, one of the UK’s leading clinical research organisations for clinical trial volunteer recruitment based in London Bridge.
The blood is used to develop and modify laboratory methods in the development of new medicines.
Trial 4 US pays donors up to £100 (₦40,371.08) for donating 600 mls of blood or a proportional amount if less blood has been donated, i.e. £50 for 300 mls.
However, the company has no idea that some of the people donating blood from the church are being pressurised into doing that while some are underaged.
The United Kingdom Steve Reed, Labour’s shadow minister for child protection who had some of the youngsters confide in him said,
“a pastor pretended to be the young person’s parent, went with them to donate blood for which they would get paid, signed a consent form as the parent to allow the blood to be given and then when the money was handed over they took it for SPAC Nation. It was about £30 a go.”
This is not the first time criminal activities will be probed in the church. On February 1, 2018, The BBC report had described SPAC Nation as “The church where drugs and knives are left at the altar;” and Sunday Times of August 11, 2018, sees it as a church that uses “‘Demonic’ drill rap used to spread the gospel.”