The unfolding evidence against a prominent “Man of God” together with his co-accused has left the country and the rest of the world gripped by disbelief following charges of rape and human trafficking levelled against the trio.
Furthermore, we are profoundly saddened by the manner in which the first witness in the trial has been doubly traumatised by very intrusive cross-examination.
While we understand the established process of cross-examination in a trial, we believe the process has, in this particular case, the potential to intimidate and silence victims of sexual violence in future.
We reiterate the Church’s long-standing belief that houses of worship should be places of refuge for the marginalized and hurting and that church leaders should always uphold prescribed Biblical values.
Whilst we are aware that this matter is still under judicial consideration, we strongly denounce behaviour that suggests any violation of women, children and men of all races and orientation in the name of God.
These are gimmicks of manipulation and abuse. The Christian faith by its nature teaches restoration of hope, protection of humanity and places immense value on human dignity. As the Church, we are custodians of the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of humanity.
Any behaviour that goes against these values, especially by individuals masquerading as “prophets,” “bishops,” or “pastors”, grossly misrepresents the true mandate of church leadership.
These impostors have highly compromised the reputation of the Church to an extent that the State is considering regulating religion.
As Hope Restoration Ministries, we fully support a collaborative approach by the Church and government to guarantee the protection of citizens in exercising their right to religious practices.
It is with deep regret that counterfeit churches have taken advantage of unsuspecting citizens genuinely seeking spiritual upliftment. These charlatans have in the process, tarnished the image of well-meaning churches of God.
We salute the brave women who have taken a stand (at great risk to themselves) to expose these unethical and predatory tendencies. We remain confident that their quest for justice will not be in vain.
The views shared in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of TheSouthAfrican.com.