Regulation of churches now necessary

We have heard about miracle money, miracle babies, miracle abortion, miracle weight loss, miracle phone charging and prepaid meters being recharged miraculously. Incidences of pastors raping women, under the pretext of private deliverances, have also intensified.

The neo Pentecostalism that has grappled Zimbabwe’s churches is remarkable and ought to be severely scrutinized to avoid congregants from being fleeced and abused by pseudo pastors.

The religious fanaticism being displayed in most new Pentecostal movements is appalling and a true departure from the biblical fundamentals. The gospel of prosperity, which apparently resonates well with most congregants who are facing economic hardships and desperate for quick wins, is being harnessed to exploit congregants who appear to have been hypnotized into accepting anything coming from the “men of God.”

It is high time for government to stop being a spectator and intervene by coming up with regulations that govern the proper functioning of churches.

Almost all sectors, such as civil society, political parties and even various trades, are regulated. So why not churches? The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches operate on a voluntary basis and thus lack legal force to regulate churches.

ZINATHA actually manages its affairs much better than these church associations. There is urgent need for a legal instrument which whips all the false prophets and pseudo pastors into line.

Lately we have heard about churches that are selling simple commodities for inflated prices, claiming that they are “anointed,” and that they have the power to heal diseases and bring blessings and prosperity.

One church that is selling “anointed” oranges at dollar each, whereas the market price is a paltry 10cents. The church is also said to be selling cups and plates engraved with the photograph of its leader and his wife for $10 and $20. This surely is fleecing the poor people whose desperation makes them vulnerable in quest for solutions to their economic hardships.

Government must play its role to protect the citizens from being duped by false prophets. Although the constitution has a provision that allows freedom of worship, that freedom must not be abused by those seeking to line their pockets with quick buck.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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