“Lady Perfect” Vicentia Tadagbe Tchranvoukinni says she is God and will have victory over the devil.
The controversial Tchranvoukinni said she fell from heaven “To end the reign of Beelzebub, to succeed in exterminating sorcery and all evil spirits that prevent mankind from developing,” church spokesperson Cardinal Cesaire Agossa told Agence France Presse.
The 25-year-old founded the Very Holy Church of Jesus Christ of Baname in 2009 when a man she now calls Pope Christopher XVIII allegedly exorcised her.
Since then, her charismatic followers have been kicked out of Benin’s congregations for clashing theology. Yet, her movement grows, despite the violent headlines that surround it.
In January, a handful of her priests were charged with murder when multiple church members died after they sealed themselves in a cave with incense while praying for deliverance for the voodoo culture and waiting for the end of the world. Tchranvoukinni was not charged in the incident.
“Those who died are not really members of the church; they are people who came to test us,” she said.
The cult, which denounces Benin’s local voodoo culture, has thousands of followers in the small West African country, Reuters reports. The Baname followers, who often wear red scarves to identify themselves, frequently clash with and members of other faiths since their founding.
Agossa says the church has “never orchestrated violence” and its success had “aroused jealousy and hatred.”