Home Opinion and Features ‘Prophets” prey on the desperate

‘Prophets” prey on the desperate

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In real life a church leader used a coffin to perform a hoax in which he claimed to have raised a man from the dead.

A North West bishop has opened a criminal case against Alleluia Ministries International (AMI) leader, pastor Alph Lukau. Picture: Supplied

In the trailer for Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral there’s a coffin scene.

It’s a corny movie, but in real life a church leader used a coffin to perform a hoax in which he claimed to have raised a man from the dead.

Sadly there are a number of self-appointed prophets in South Africa who engage in such bizarre behaviour.

Remember the Limpopo “Doom” pastor, Lethebo Rabalago, who told congregants to eat grass to be closer to God, or sprayed them with insecticide to help cure them of cancer and HIV?

In the latest case, a video on social media shows Alph Lukau pretending to perform the miracle of bringing to life a “dead” man being transported to Zimbabwe for burial.

Lukau is being sued for reputational damage by three funeral homes, which unwittingly became involved in his stunt.

But beyond that damage, immense harm is caused by such men – a fact raised during this week’s meeting of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) in Pretoria.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Zweli Mkhize called on society to unite to protect people from abuse and exploitation, while guest speaker Professor Tinyiko Maluleke identified as victims those who were desperate for hope.

It is those who ardently believe that so-called prophets can help them if they fork out hard-earned cash for “holy” oils and other ritual accoutrements. All too often though, they are left disappointed and penniless.

Civil authorities are reluctant to intervene because religion is a sensitive issue and they don’t want to interfere in what people believe. However, we have to protect ourselves against those who try to deceive and manipulate those who trust them for their own glorification and financial reward.