from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) – CHRISTIANS in Botswana welcomed the government’s closure of the church owned by charismatic Malawian self-styled prophet Shepherd Bushiri for making so-called miracle money.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) run by the extravagant leader had besides violating the laws incurred the wrath of other Christian movements with its overindulgence.
Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu, announced the church closure after it allegedly defied government orders to stop its miracle money controversy.
Citizens hailed the move in the modest country of over two million people, 70 percent of them Christians.
“At least, the government is getting rid of bad apples among us purporting to be churches of Jesus Christ yet it is for self-enrichment,” said Ontse Gaolaolwe, a member of one of the oldest churches in Botswana.
Dirang Motlhabankwe said the performing of miracle money was in contrast to Jesus’ teachings.
“Even old prophets in the Old Testament never performed miracle money, so, why these emerging churches performing fun miracles? Jesus urged the world to give what belonged to Gaius Julius Caesar (money) and give to God what belongs to Jehovah,” Motlhabankwe said.
Compatriot Mogogi Moloi, also condemned the trend.
“Jesus only performed miracles that edified the kingdom of heaven. What we see today is selfishness by these false prophets,” Moloi charged.
The government of President Ian Khama is believed to be monitoring such churches involved in performing “miracles.”
Most are accused of accumulating wealth at the expense of desperate congregants amid social and economic problems.
Bushiri recently courted controversy in South Africa, where his church is headquartered, when he splurged on a luxury car as a birthday gift for her four-year old daughter.
The Maserati Levante is valued at more than R1,65 million (US$1, 32 500).
– CAJ News