‘Healers are demons’!

2017-01-12 06:01
 Pastor Ali Kwababana says that his time of worship is being disturbed by the community. Inset:   A woman feigning to throw a brick at the church members.   PHOTO: Mawande Sobethwa

Pastor Ali Kwababana says that his time of worship is being disturbed by the community. Inset: A woman feigning to throw a brick at the church members. PHOTO: Mawande Sobethwa

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A so-called holy war has erupted in Mzazi Street in Philippi, splitting the community right in the middle, leading to stones and insults being hurled against each other.

According to Pastor Ali Kwababana of the Jezereel Ministries Church, his troubles started after he had denounced traditional healers as well as other belief systems in his sermons.

He said that some members of the community, who are traditional healers, started taking offence and started attacking the church in December.

“All I did was to speak of Isaiah 8 verse 19 and elaborate on it. On the first day a traditional healer who happened to be passing by(during a sermon), seemingly took offence and garnered others to gang against the church,” said Kwababana.

“Since then, stones and insults had been thrown against members and the church, respectively.

“Crowds have been demonstrating outside the church.

When City Vision visited the church on Wednesday evening, young children were seen throwing stones onto the roof of the RDP house that has been converted into a house of worship.

In a video provided by church, one woman is seen threatening congregants and feigning a brick throw at them.

“We have been attacked on an ongoing basis for the message that we are spreading in our community. Some people are uncomfortable with our message and all that we are doing is to quote the Bible,” Kwababa said, sighing.

Kwababana said that living in the house with his wife and two children has been hell since the attacks started.

“My children cant play in the street because we don’t know what they(attackers) will do. We don’t feel safe even though we believe that we have done nothing wrong,” he said.

He said that what disappointed him the most was that young ‘children were being used in the fight’ against his church.

“There are many taverns here operating illegally but they want to close our church... I don’t understand it, but I’m willing to meet with the community to find a solution,” he said.

“We moved here late last year and we don’t understand that...if they want us to leave, where will we go? We are a small congregation of about 70 people, (and) we don’t have money for(acquiring new) land,” said church member Shylock Gcayiya.

“They need to understand that we have a constitutional right to practice our religion as a church and we can’t close our doors because of them,” he said vehemently.

A Mrs Mayambela, who claimed to the chairperson of the street committee, said that the community took exception to the pastor’s offensive sermons about other churches and traditional healers.

“When we made contact with the community, they said that they want him to stop bad-mouthing other people,” she said.

She said the street committee, the community and the church will meet tonight.

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