Spindale, NC - A former member of the Brazilian sister church of Word of Faith Fellowship talked exclusively to 7 News today.
Ana Carolina grew up in the Ministerio Verbo Vivo church in Brazil. Carolina and her family were chosen to visit the Spindale, North Carolina Word of Faith Fellowship campus over the years. Carolina states herself and her father would be required to work while in North Carolina, including painting homes, cleaning homes, babysit, and other odd jobs for ministers in the church. Carolina says she only had a tourist visa, not a work visa and that they never received compensation for the work. In fact Carolina states her parents would send her money that she would have to contribute for room and board to the church.
While visiting the North Carolina church's campus, Carolina states she was subjected to physical abuse by ministers and was forced in isolation for days, being given only a bible to read. Given no way to leave, Carolina says that the ministers from Word of Faith confiscated her cell phone and passport for her entire stay.
The Brazilian Department of Labor is now suing the church, asking the judge to close the doors to the church and school in Brazil, along with paying back wages to those who were unregistered workers with the church.
Former Word of Faith members say they have spoken with federal and state investigators regarding active investigations into the American branch of the church.
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