Woman Held Captive and Bound in Cult-Like Church

St. Louis, Missouri – Three individuals have been arrested by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for running a cult-like church where women were held captive with veils covering their faces. Grace Kipendo, Mmunga Fungamali, and Pasi Heri are facing charges of kidnapping and assault. The police were alerted when a woman was found bound with ropes and bleeding from her head. She reported being confined against her will in a room within a church on Marceau Street. When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered a room with a bucket of feces and urine and arrested the individuals involved.

During a bond hearing for Kipendo, Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Faerber revealed shocking details about the Mount of Olives Ministry church. Faerber described the church as cult-like, with churchgoers referring to women as “angels” and the chosen ones wearing white veils in a designated “white room.” When police attempted to check on the well-being of these women by lifting their veils, they started screaming. One of the captive women managed to escape and seek help from a passerby who then alerted the authorities.

Chris Combs, the attorney representing Kipendo, argued that his client had no involvement in the alleged kidnapping or assault. He claimed that Kipendo, Fungamali, and Heri were taken into custody due to a language barrier, as church services are conducted in Swahili. Notably, several members of the church, including the victim’s mother and sister, showed up to support the suspects. The victim’s family had supposedly placed her in the church for “healing” following her relocation from Kansas City to St. Louis for mental health treatment.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department continues to investigate the disturbing allegations and is currently holding the suspects without bond. As this case unfolds, more details are expected to emerge surrounding the cult-like practices and the conditions under which these women were being held captive.