World Bulletin / News Desk
A video showing a controversial South African Christian pastor making members of his congregation drink petrol – which he said would turn into pineapple juice – has sparked a public outcry.
"From the Christian biblical point of view, it's clear that the body is the temple of the lord, and by drinking petrol, you're harming it," Professor Fika Janse van Rensburg, dean of Northwest University's theology faculty, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
He said the South African constitution allowed freedom of religion, but it also states that persons should not be brought to harm through indoctrination by the teachings of religious leaders.
Pastor Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Center Ministries, located north of capital Pretoria, can be seen in the video holding a bottle of petrol, which, he says, he had prayed for to turn into pineapple juice.
The video, which has gone viral online in recent days, shows Pastor Daniel first giving the petrol to one of his fellow preachers to test.
A female congregant then comes from the audience shaking and dancing, reaching out for the bottle in the pastor's hands.
"You want to drink pineapple juice?" Daniel asks her before giving her a sip of the petrol.
Then several other congregants come forward and drink from the same bottle.
"It seems this pastor is just looking for fame without considering the health risks that his followers could face due to drinking petrol," Johannesburg resident Jaabu Enocka told AA.
Enocka voiced doubt that the pastor had the ability to convert petrol into juice.
AA's efforts to obtain a comment from the South African Council of Churches (SACC) proved futile.
Pastor Daniel is hardly new to controversy.
Earlier this year, he ordered members of his congregation to eat grass, saying this would bring them closer to God.
A video of his followers eating grass while lying down in a field was carried by the international media.
"Our government should help us by arresting such pastors because they mislead people to believe they have godly powers," one angry Johannesburg woman told AA on condition of anonymity.
YouTube user Kojo Ndur asked the pastor in a comment posted under the video: "Why can't you help Africans fight Ebola and HIV since you can talk to God?"
Earlier this month, 84 South Africans were killed in Nigeria when a guesthouse attached to the All Nations Synagogue Church collapsed in commercial capital Lagos.
Most of those killed had been in Nigeria to be "healed" by evangelist T.B. Joshua, who claims to have the power to cure illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and cancer.Last Mod: 26 Eylül 2014, 10:21