MAKING GODLY MONEY IN SA
In SA, where around 80% of the population claim to be Christian, Pentecostal churches have also grown in popularity, though they don’t necessarily have much in common with their Nigerian counterparts. One example of a big Pentecostal church is the influential Rhema Ministries, which has its own TV station and owns a huge estate with a plush 750-seater auditorium in Randpark Ridge, Randburg.
The head of Rhema Ministries, former bodybuilder Ray McCauley, dislikes having his church labelled under the “prosperity gospel” banner. He says Rhema doesn’t use its TV station to raise money, unlike US televangelists, and tithing is voluntary.
Jacques Rousseau, a lecturer at the University of Cape Town and director of the Free Society Institute, disagrees. “It [Rhema] is a prosperity cult. It teaches you that wealth is the same as happiness and that all this is possible if you give money to Ray McCauley.”
Officially, State and church are separated in SA, but in practice this divide is not