Dominion Christian Centre

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Dominion Christian Centre

The Dominion Christian Centre is Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, reportedly is an extremist ‘evangelical Christian’ church. It is reported that a number of the church’s members have cut off all contact with family members. Others have left or were forced to leave the church have been shunned.

Abusive Church

One person recently blogged the following comments:

I just got back from a meeting at Holiday Inn Burlington. Many people involved in various ways with Dominion Christian Center were there, as was W5, which has been doing an extensive investigation into this so-called church. My sister Linda attends there and it has been a year since she cut all ties with our family after my parents signed a petition asking for dialogue with her pastor.

At the meeting there was a lot of hurt. People who had attended Dominion and left (or been pushed out) and were then shunned. People who had had to rebuild their lives, since they had cut all ties to the outside. People who had family there that they could no longer get in contact with at worst or had strained relations with at best. Parents and siblings who missed their child or sister or brother as much as my parents and siblings miss Linda. But there was also a lot of love and faith there as well.

Someone came to the wise conclusion that what we could do is pray for one thing, and for another display and have no bitterness, but only love. To show we will welcome these people with open arms and that we love them no matter what. Near the end of the meeting, Cole, who had been Peter Rigo’s right hand man, addressed everyone with the repeated words “love never fails.” He said it is just a matter of time.

I want it to end, but in a way that everyone there is in no doubt of the truth, that their eyes would be opened. It would take a miracle, but then the members of Dominion Christian Centre truly desire to follow Christ and give their all to God, they are just misled by a manipulator who believes that his church is the only true church in Hamilton. I think that God is mighty enough to bring them through it, because they are his children.

Peter Rigo, a self-styled pastor without any current credentials and without any covering or anyone to answer to, takes the truth and twists it until instead of faith there is fear, instead of freedom there is bondage and control. Broken lives and broken relationships follow in his wake, but many people have come out from this abusive church stronger and more aware of the truth.
– Source: Suzanne Den Boer, Truth and Lies Consider The Lilies (blog), Sep. 27, 2006 [links inserted by Apologetics Index]

Failed Deprogramming Leads to Kidnapping Charge

The Dominion Christian Centre has been in the news recently when an Ontario couple was charged, along with four other people, with kidnapping their daughter in an effort to deprogram her from what they consider to be a religious cult.

Dr. Renato Brun Del Re, his wife, Lucie, their son and several friends will appear in court in Hamilton today on kidnapping charges for their desperate efforts to remove their daughter, who is now 23, from what they believe is a cult operating in downtown Hamilton.

The family, who say they implored police and government officials for help and even brought in a well-known cult deprogrammer from the United States, insist they were only doing their duty as devoted parents, intent on doing everything in their power to protect their daughter.

Police have charged six people, including the Brun Del Res and their 25-year-old son, with charges of abduction and forcible confinement for their part in snatching a woman off the street in Hamilton in late December, forcing her into a van and bringing her back to the family home in Milton, about a half hour’s drive north-east of the city.

The woman remained in the home for several days before she escaped and went to police.

Her family says she has returned to her former lifestyle in association with the Dominion Christian Centre, an evangelical Christian group that uses raucous, music-based services to draw wayward young adults and others to its base in one of the grittiest parts of the city’s downtown core.

One of the core issues raised by this case is whether concerns over a family member’s safety can override an individual right to freedom of religion — particularly when the person involved is an adult, not a child.
– Source: Kidnapping or rescuing daughter? Court case pits family against what they allege is a cult, National Post, via CHTV Hamilton, Canada, Sep. 25, 2006

According to the pastor deprogrammer, Mary Alice Chrnalogar was involved:

Pastor Peter Rigo, a former painter and decorator who founded the downtown DCC six years ago, says a well-known American deprogrammer was brought to Halton to try to talk the family member into leaving the group.

“They brought in cult deprogrammer Mary Alice Chrnalogar. They flew her in from the States,” Rigo said.

Chrnalogar, a Tennessee-based intervention consultant, is the author of Twisted Scriptures: A Path To Freedom From Abusive Churches.

“I didn’t come up there to take part in anything, I did come up there and talked to the family,” Chrnalogar said in a phone interview. She refused to answer any other questions.

W-FIVE TV program Investigation

Canadian television’s W-FIVE program has investigated the church:

A W-FIVE investigation delves into the world of a Hamilton-based church revealing how its psychological hold on members has literally torn families apart.

Airing Saturday, October 28 at 7 p.m. (check local listings), the full-hour episode brings viewers an exclusive inside look at this extreme religious group and the families affected by The Dominion Christian Centre.

In an exclusive interview, W-FIVE talks to Peter Rigo, the radical pastor of the DCC, who explains that the church is a place for those who want to live the word of Christ 24/7–anyone not willing to toe that line is invited to hit the road.

But dozens of families who met with W-FIVE paint a different picture, calling the DCC a destructive cult that is ruining people’s lives.
– Source: W-FIVE investigates Christian Dominion Centre, Oct. 28, 2006


  1. G. Case January 2, 2007
  2. sophie bourgeois July 6, 2009

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This post was last updated: Oct. 30, 2006