Pastor Lethebo Rabalago of the Mount Zion General Assembly in the Limpopo province sprays a pesticide called Doom at his congregants, claiming to heal a variety of illnesses, including HIV and cancer. But churches say this is abuse of church members and other believers.
“There is rampant abuse of the religiosity of poor communities by unscrupulous Dooms day prophets that emerge either as poison practitioners or money-sucking extortionists, who prey on the faith of the desperate and the ignorant,” the South African Council of Churches, which represents 36 churches and religious organizations, said in a statement, according to Newsweek.
Another group, the Freedom of Religion South Africa, which represent 99 denominations and churches, has also issued a statement.
“While we believe that the Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ healed people of all manner of diseases and ailments during His earthly ministry, He always did so in a way that protected their dignity as human beings made in the image of God,” the group said. “On no occasion did He act in a way that caused physical harm to people or further endangered their health. As such, these reported actions are completely contrary to both biblical teaching and practice.”
The group added, “Spraying a known toxic liquid over another person, and thereby causing them physical harm, is both unlawful and illegal. We therefore call upon the Government to exercise its powers to ensure that this action is reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, to ensure that its perpetrator is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
However, Pastor Rabalago claims that his belief comes from God.
“We are glorifying God. We want God to be seen. We are saying with God anything is possible,” he told Herald Live earlier this month.
His church explained how the method works, and said the pastor “begins to speak to demons in order to address problems people face each day. He then drives them out of their bodies to free the people.”
The church’s staff added, Doom is just a name, and insisted that it can be used as a healing product.
The pastor has shared several photos on his social media account that show him spraying Doom in people’s faces, and told TMG Digital that he has faith in God that he is doing the right thing. “It’s not a matter of inspiration. When one is inspired you are copying. It’s not a matter of inspiration. No one inspired me. I just believe in God for anything. We can use anything that you believe to heal people,” he said.