As a young girl in Sierra Leone, Africa, Miracle was taught by her grandmother to invoke demonic spirits and perform brutal rituals for a secret Satanic religious society. But now that Miracle has become a Christian, she herself has been marked for death by her grandmother.

For two years, Miracle, who was known as Sassa until coming to faith in Christ at age 14, performed ancient rituals that involved interacting with demons, casting spells and performing bodily mutilations,” says Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley 

According to Representative Foley, Miracle, now age 24, learned the rituals from her grandmother, who still leads the secret society. 

Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs that during the two years she was active in the society, she felt no fear of the evil spirits with which she interacted. In fact, she felt comfortable in their presence,” says Representative Foley. 

According to Voice of the Martyrs, more than half of Sierra Leoneans identify themselves as Muslims, while 13% identify themselves as Christians. Most of the remaining population practice ethnic religions. 

But Representative Foley says that despite these public religious identifications, an estimated 90% of Sierra Leoneans are additionally aligned with secret societies that dominate all aspects of life in Sierra Leone.  

At about the age of puberty, boys are often initiated into the Poro society and girls are initiated into the Bondo society, also known as Bundu or Sande,” says Representative Foley. “Leaders of these societies hold considerable local power, and national politicians even seek their endorsement and promise to protect their rituals and customs. Families that refuse to join or participate in the societies, including Christians, are treated as outcasts. 

According to Voice of the Martyrs, during the Poro initiation ceremonies, boys receive ritualistic cuts on their backs, signifying the teeth marks of a demonic spirit. Girls who enter Bondo suffer ritual genital mutilation as an initiation to womanhood.  

Nine out of ten girls undergo this ritual in Sierra Leone, which has the highest rate of female genital mutilation in Africa,” says Representative Foley. The women who administer these rites are revered and are believed to hold supernatural powers. 

Representative Foley say that Miracle was born into a Muslim family and raised by her grandmother from a young age 

Her grandmother is a zowei, a Bondo leader for her village,” says Representative Foley. “When Miracle turned 12, her grandmother began preparing her to become a zowei as well. 

As the Bondo initiation starts, the girls have their faces painted with white clay and are led deep into the forest by a “devil.” The zowei, who embodies the devil, wears a wooden mask and a costume of palm leaves. The devil typically uses an unsterilized razor or knife to perform genital mutilation on the girls, who are often tied down with mouths covered, and anesthetized using a potion made from leaves,” says Representative Foley. 

Following the ritual, the girls take an oath of secrecy and are told that if they disclose the society’s secrets they will be killed.  

Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs that as she grew in her understanding of Bondo rituals, her grandmother allowed her to wear the devil costume and conduct the mutilations herself.  

She was 13 at the time,” says Representative Foley. “In two years she performed the rituals on 35 other young girls.” 

Looking back on those two years of her childhood, Miracle said she felt as if she had lost control of her soul, invoking demons and seeking their guidance. “In the secret society, you are assisted by an evil spirit to carry it out,” she told Voice of the Martyrs. “In most of my work, I operated alongside the evil spirits and they directed me what to do.” 

Miracle changed her name to honor how God had brought her from darkness to light.

But Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs that there were limitations to the dark power she gained from demons.  

“There is something in Christians that prevents you from taking that soul,” she said. “I saw it in the children who became Christians; when we wanted to take them, it was difficult. Those children you cannot take. There is a force that fights you.” 

According to Representative Foley, one evening when Miracle’s grandmother was visiting another village, a Christian pastor arrived with a projector and a small screen. He had come to the village to share the JESUS film. 

As she watched the film, Miracle said she felt moved by Christ’s teachings and miracles,” says Representative Foley. She also realized that she had encountered Jesus in the spiritual realm. He was the force who had protected the Christians she and her grandmother had tried to control. 

“My heart was fixed to the Lord Jesus Christ,” Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs. “I started yearning to give my life to Christ.” 

At the conclusion of the film, the pastor asked if anyone wanted to place their faith in Jesus Christ. Miracle decided to walk forward. “I made an attempt,” she told Voice of the Martyrs, “but it was like something held me back.” 

Although she didn’t walk forward at that moment, Miracle later joined the pastor and others at a church in a nearby village, where they prayed for her overnight 

(File photo) The Jesus Film is shown in a village in Sierra Leone, Africa.

When Miracle returned home the next morning, her grandmother, who was back from her visit, asked her where she had been. 

“The people who came, they have a church,” Miracle answered.  

That was all her grandmother needed to hear. “I have made you a leader in our society,” she shouted. “What are you doing with these church people?” 

Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs that her grandmother gathered the elder Bondo women and told them that Miracle had attended a church service.  

“They flogged me very seriously that night,” Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs, crying. “They said, ‘If you ever try to follow that pastor, the next time we will kill you.’” 

Miracle headed for the pastor’s house as soon as she was untied, but the women realized where she was going and recaptured her,” says Representative Foley. They beat her again, and one of the women rubbed a crushed hot pepper in her eyes and elsewhere on her body. 

Miracle broke free from the women and continued running, eventually reaching the pastor’s home. Realizing Miracle’s life was in danger, the pastor and his wife immediately let her in their home.  

According to Representative Foley, the pastor who was taking care of Miracle sensed that she was still controlled by a dark spirit, so for one week he fasted and prayed for her. 

“I did not feel the physical world,” Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs. “I felt the spiritual realm. Prayer is what brought me back to the normal way with people. From what I can remember, I fell to the ground. The pastor was praying, and something came out of me. When that thing came out of me, I could remember myself and feel the physical again. It was a spirit that was inside my life.” 

Miracle graduated in December 2022 from a three-year sewing program and is now able to support herself financially.

While still staying at the church, Miracle placed her faith in Christ.  

After her baptism, she took on the name Miracle to honor the way God had brought her out of darkness and into light,” says Representative Foley. Ten years after coming to faith in Christ, Miracle is part of a vibrant church and continues to grow in faith. 

“The church is helping me to understand God’s Word,” Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs. 

In December 2022, Miracle graduated from a three-year sewing program. She says the sewing machine and the training she received have made it possible for her to support herself

Miracle says her grandmother is unable to attack her through the spiritual realm, but Miracle has heard that she is still pursuing her,” says Representative Foley 

But Miracle told Voice of the Martyrs that she is not afraid.  

My grandmother, I don’t think about her,” she says. “Until I go to glory, I will be with the family of Jesus. 

According to Representative Foley, Miracle’s one request was for prayer. “She said, ‘I want whoever reads my story to be praying for me to stay in the Lord,’” says Representative Foley.  

Representative Foley says Voice of the Martyrs posts urgent prayer requests for Christians like Miracle on its website at

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