A Brazilian originated church that has branches in Swaziland is being investigated for allegations of satanic worship and child sacrifice in neighbouring South Africa.
The church was also expelled from Zambia amidst rumours of a planned child sacrifice. It was also said that the church solicited blood from its members.
Though it professes to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, it has been widely accused of practicing cults, promising to transform the lives of people from rags to riches.
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Madagascar banned the church in February this year and jailed four senior officials for the burning of bibles.
So established is the church in Swaziland that it has programmes in the electronic media. When The Swazi Observer confronted the church pastors over the allegations yesterday, they declined to comment.
“We can’t comment because when we say something, we will see something else in the paper tomorrow, God bless you,” one pastor said.
Despite a wide outcry by Christians in South Africa over the church, local pastors said they were not aware of its alleged wayward activities.
Pastor Mpendulo Nkambule of the Word of Hope Ministries said he could hardly comment on the issue because he had not made a research on its activities.
“I cannot say much until I have made a research on it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku also said there had been no complaints about the operations of the church.
The church is said to have established itself in 22 countries in Africa.
Articles that taint its image have also been written in neighbouring Mozambique and American newspapers, linking it to money laundering and drug-smuggling. All have been refuted by the church and several investigations have come to naught.
The South African Star Newspaper said The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) said it was investigating the church for its alleged uncouth practices.