Charismania is prominent on the African continent, and many reported Christians are actually adherents of Word-Faith prosperity teaching, a sub-Christian sect that is widely growing throughout the world.
One such church belonging to this sub-Christian sect is the Mount Zion Christian Assembly of South Africa. It’s your run-of-the-mill health, wealth and prosperity cult, except instead of dishing out Todd Bentley-esque punches to cancer patients or Benny Hinn-style slaps across the face with flying suitcoats, the pastor accidentally killed a woman while proving how he had given her a Holy Spirit force field.
No. Not making it up.
The story was originally told in newspapers outside South Africa. The Ghana Star covered it August 13th, and it seems to be a legitimate publication. For full disclosure, however, the “wire reports” cited by the Star are altogether unknown to Polemics Report, and could not be fully substantiated. However, other legitimate news outlets have corroborated the story, including the Nigerian Bulletin.
So is the story real? Well, the pastor in question is certainly real, at least according to Facebook. The pastor has included photos of him cutting audience members with a knife, alleging that the Holy Spirit will keep people from bleeding when they’re cut. He also has pictures of him hitting audience members with stones, claiming that the Holy Spirit doesn’t let them feel pain. And the church is real, at least according to Facebook. If they’re not real, it’s an elaborate joke. The pastor – Lethebo Rabalago – posted a news story on the death, and called the media, “the devil’s weapon.” Nowhere in the thread, however, was the story denounced as altogether untrue. It seems that some commenters (some from Africa) allege the woman is not dead. One such commenter was Itumeleng Segalabutla of Tembisa, South Africa, who said “she ain’t dead.”
Considering that the pastor isn’t in jail and is giving it the “lulz treatment” on Facebook, perhaps there’s more to the story. As in, maybe the young lady didn’t die. Along with the news being reported outside of South Africa in places like Ghana and Niger and not inside South Africa, chances are it’s altogether untrue.
What’s not untrue, it seems from the pastor’s Facebook page, is that a giant speaker was put on top of a lady and he jumped on top of it to prove something or other about the Holy Spirit or healing. Furthermore, an entire church of people considered this relatively normal. Regardless of whether or not this lead to someone’s death, it demonstrates for us the counterfeit nature of charismatic Christianity on the African continent (which is only a tad more eccentric than what one might ordinarily find in America).