News / National
'Fake' foreign pastors invade Zimbabwe
30 Oct 2016 at 10:32hrs | Views
Ever since the turn of the millennium, scores of foreign pastors, particularly those from Western African countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo, have been flocking to Zimbabwe and establishing their churches.
Most of them claim miracle working power. Spreading the word to all the corners of the earth is in line with the scriptures.
However, some of the foreign pastors have been found on the wrong side of the law.
Ugandan Pastor Josephs and Prophet Paul Williams were recently arrested for flouting immigration laws and possessing fake passports. The two were based in Waterfalls where they were drawing sizeable crowds to Holy Fire Ministries.
Pastor Mutefa from Ghana was also accused of flouting immigration laws. Some church leaders say foreign pastors are flocking to Zimbabwe in search of the United States dollar.
However, others believe that "human beings are more attracted to foreign religious men or women", thereby attributing the migration of religious leaders to the saying that "a prophet is without honour only in his hometown".
Most local church leaders' "spiritual fathers" are from Ghana and Nigeria. United Family International Church Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and Spirit Embassy leader Prophet Ubert Angel's spiritual father is Ghanaian Prophet Victor Kusi Boateng.
Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries Prophet Walter Magaya's spiritual father is Nigeria's Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations.
While pastors from other countries flock to Zimbabwe, some local clergymen also go to other nations to preach the gospel. When Zimbabwean pastors visit neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Botswana, they usually attract huge crowds, bearing testimony that people are generally attracted to "all things foreign."
However, Anglican Manicaland Diocese Archbishop Reverend Eric Ruwona said the majority of foreign pastors coming to Zimbabwe "were not sent by God but are a bunch of criminals masquerading as men of God".
"I am saying this because genuine men of God follow the laws of the land. Time and again we read in newspapers stories of these fake pastors being involved in criminal activities such as fraud and rape. Some even have the audacity to stay here without proper documents," said Archbishop Ruwona.
He said local pastors should ground their flock in the word of God so that they do not fall prey to "dubious men of God".
"As a church we need to realise and act on the needs of our flock, we should teach them to develop the habit of following Christ. The majority of these foreign pastors are not true, that is why they try to entice people with miracles and instant riches. We must all know that if something is too good to be true, chances are high that it is not true.
United Methodist Church's deputy administrative assistant Reverend Alan Gurupira said according to the Old Testament, when God wanted to raise a prophet, he would raise one among the people.
He said most foreign preachers are coming to Zimbabwe with personal interests, mainly to enrich themselves at the expense of the word of God and the economy.
Rev Gurupira said some of the 'men of cloth' are externalising money.
"God, in the Old Testament said, 'I will raise a prophet among you'. What this means is that if God wants Zimbabweans to live in the word there is no problem in Him raising a prophet locally.
"Without taking anything from foreign preachers, it is good for a Zimbabwean preacher to preach to locals because he or she understands the culture, the economy and the way of life of the people," said Rev Gurupira.
Seventh Day Adventist church, East Zimbabwe Conference president Pastor Godfrey Musara urged Christians to discern spiritual matters.
"Christians should use the Bible as the only guide in the Christian journey," said Pastor Musara.
"Jesus said in the last days false prophets will rise and deceive many people. When someone comes from another country and performs miracles here, people must put that person to test using the Bible before embracing him or her. The Bible is our only security, if we don't use it we are doing ourselves a disservice."
Redeemed Generation Ministries International leader Bishop Mugove Chisango said foreign preachers' scramble for Zimbabwe is exposing local ministers.
"This shows that our people are empty-headed, they don't understand the word of God. Most foreign preachers are after our money and children. Surprisingly, you find grown up people attending these people's church services. We read stories of them raping our children and wives almost daily, our people should just stop attending such churches.
"I commend our Government for working tirelessly to bring these people to book. Criminals must be arrested," he said.
Source - online