A Tanzanian pastor told his congregants that he could not touch the ground while he preaches, otherwise anointing will leave him.
As crazy as the story sounds, it is nowhere near as crazy as this South African pastor who used spray insecticide on his congregants for healing and casting out demons. The DOOM pastor as he is commonly known was later convicted of assault. It is unclear whether he still has a church or whether he even served time.
Some congregants who were sprayed on the face and eyes later developed chronic coughs, some lasting for as long as seven months.
In the last few years, Africa has seen resurgent of churchgoers being subjected to unconventional methods of healing from their pastors and self-styled prophets. The DOOM pastor was also known to use heavy speakers like the one in the photo below, to cast demons/spirits out of people.
Mwebantu Zambian online publication published an article that detailed how a pastor managed to swindle over K10,000 out of a widow. The pastor was convicted of obtaining money under false pretence and was sentenced to two years in prison. The pastor he promised the widow he would raise her husband from the dead.
Africans by enlarge are very spiritual, Christianity together with African traditional beliefs makes up the majority of the religious landscape in Africa. And long before Christianity made its way to Africa, Africa had its diverse religious groups that were and are still stipped in different traditional practices. Some Christians practice both traditional African religious practices and Christianity. This is why if we were to define a Christian as “someone who holds to the exclusivity of Jesus Christ” it is statistically hard determined the number of Christians in Africa.
Unlike Christianity though, which forbids the worship of idols, most traditional African religions believe in the worship of ancestors and the respect for elders. Followers of this belief system believe that ancestors maintain a spiritual connection to the living relatives. Elder in this instance is anyone who holds any position of authority; this respect is sometimes taken to mean Africans cannot question their elders. That is why I believe, this abuse of power by pastors would have happened regardless of the religion in question.
These con artists are just capitalizing on the fact that people are desperate. In many parts of Africa, there no jobs, the majority of people do not access to good health care services and in certain parts of the continent majority of people are uneducated. According to the world bank in 2013 half of the extremely poor live in sub-Saharan Africa. Although the number of poor people fell by only 4 million, 389 million people live on less than US$1.90 a dollar a day. Poverty and the reasons highlighted above could explain why people are being taken advantaged of.