When his 17-year-old son died late last month from cancer, ‘Bishop’ Octavio Nevis, above, held onto the body, believing that the teen would be ‘resurrected’ through the power of prayer.
But after police intervened, Nevis, founder of the Jesus for All Nations Ministry (JFAN) church, agreed this week to bury the body of Meshach Octavio – 12 days after the teenager’s death.
Followers of the ‘bishop’ are now playing the ‘persecuted Christians’ card, saying that the police had no right to intervene.
One devotee is quoted in this report as saying:
If our beliefs don’t trouble anyone, why should there be a problem? Why can’t you see larger issues, instead of targeting someone’s beliefs? We were sure Meshach would walk with us, but you people ruined it — now he will go to heaven. Brother Octavio had earlier brought Meshach back to life twice, when his doctors had lost faith and had declared him dead.
An officer from Nagpada police station said:
More than 200 people gathered for Meshach’s funeral and were seen praying for over two hours to try and bring him back to life.
The followers, along with their apostle Nevis, were praying and believed Meshach would start walking with them again.
Another follower said:
Octavio is a middleman between God and us. We have complete faith in him. People from all around the world come to him for their diseases and have been cured by him.
A spokesperson for Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, an organisation established by assassinated doctor and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, said:
The police have promised us action under the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act 2013. It involves a fine up to 50,000 rupees and imprisonment for up to seven years.
Advocate Trupti Patil added:
The police had initially told us, ‘Let them carry out the burial first’. Now we know it has happened, we expect an FIR to be registered. We will now approach Nagpada police and ask them to register an offence.