United Family International Church (Ufic) leader, Emmanuel Makandiwa has attacked false prophets, who abuse and rape female followers under the guise of praying for them.
By Aaron Ufumeli
Speaking to more than 50 000 people on the last day of a three-day crusade at Mbare grounds on Wednesday night, Makandiwa urged women not to fall prey to such preachers.
“It boggles my mind how such a thing can happen in the first place to the perpetrator and the victim as well,” he said.
“One should know when a prayer starts and ends and alarm bells must ring when you suspect any sinister or evil intention.
“I hold all my prayers here and if I fail to deal with your situation, there is no way I can do it elsewhere.”
Makandiwa said before one joined a church, they must know and understand its mission and not follow blindly.
There have been several reports of women being sexually abused by church leaders, whom they would have sought help from.
In most cases, the women would have sought help on matrimonial issues.
The prophets commit the crimes under the guise of exorcising demons and counselling sessions whereby the women are asked to attend alone, without their husbands.
Most rape victims in churches do not report these cases even to their husbands for fear of being victimised by the same prophets.
A church is supposed to provide comfort and refuge to one, but the opposite is happening, Makandiwa said.
Pentecostal and apostolic churches have been mushrooming in the country amid calls for the government to register religious groups.
Makandiwa held three crusades in the past week starting in Highfield then Mbare and Mabvuku, drawing huge crowds as many people seek divine intervention in the face of the serious economic challenges facing most Zimbabweans.