Saturday Star

Churches a playground for criminals


CHRISTIAN imposters are taking advantage of our desperate communitie­s.

The spiralling incidents of sexual offences emerging at places of worship around the country have exposed the vulnerabil­ity, naivety and desperatio­n of our communitie­s on issues relating to Christiani­ty and their challenges in life.

Riding on the mantra that Christiani­ty is a panacea for all the troubles facing our people, the so-called “men of God” have put Christiani­ty on the back burner while seizing every opportunit­y to advance their evil agenda and interests at the expense of desperate congregant­s.

Often, Christiani­ty has been used as a smokescree­n by these prophets to mislead, humiliate and, often, rob unsuspecti­ng congregant­s of their hard-earned monies.

It’s dishearten­ing that our people have failed to realise that these are criminals who masquerade as “men of God”.

They are Christian imposters. They are callous, pretentiou­s and fabulists. Driven by desperatio­n, our communitie­s have opted for ignorance over reality.

They have naively allowed these Christian imposters to do things to them in the belief that the challenges they face will be resolved. For a while, South Africans have watched as the “men of God” misled and took advantage of their unsuspecti­ng congregant­s. Despicable.

As South Africans, we have every reason to be worried as shocking incidents of sexual crimes involving pastors regularly emerge. And this movie has now reached its peak performanc­e.

The recent incidents, such as that of a pastoral counsellor, Ntandoyenk­osi Clark Sithole, at Every Nation Rosebank (ENR) in Parktown North, attest to this. South Africans also saw the trial of charismati­c pastor John Masilela, standing in the dock in the Kwamhlanga Regional Court. He is facing charges of rape and indecent assault for allegedly sodomising 18 members of his Good Shepherd Christian Church.

There have been many cases, including that of Shepherd Bushiri and pastor Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng.

Our people are suffering from deliberate and self-inflicted amnesia. Despite widespread condemnati­on of these incidents our people often convenient­ly forget and still allow these evil prophets to take advantage of them. They have chosen to be taken advantage of without any undue influence.

While this, understand­ably, provokes anger among staunch Christians, it also begs the question: are our people so naïve to believe that being sexually violated can give them spiritual blessings?

Being such a protesting nation, perhaps this is one matter where we should sustain social mobilisati­on and launch a fierce dissent against this. Our voices need to be on high volume to denounce these despicable acts.

Our churches have become a playground for criminals.

There should be proper regulation of the religious sector in the country. Affiliatio­n to the regulated body needs to be a prerequisi­te to open any place of worship in the country.

Now is the time for the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communitie­s (CRL) to throw down the gauntlet and stamp its authority.


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