Spirituality is a phenomenon which the majority of Africans are fixated on. But the question that needs to be asked is where does religion cross the line in making people do the unthinkable? Does it mean that with religion, and with whatever that comes with making one get deeply rooted in the beliefs that the leaders propagate, a person has to cease all their mental faculties?
In South Africa, there is a pastor who made his congregants eat dog meat for communion. And of course The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) are worried. The pastor, Penuel Mnguni, once made headlines for feeding a snake and rat to his congregants. A video posted on Facebook revealed the pastor giving dog meat as communion to his congregants.
In a separate post, which displays pictures of the dog before, during and after it was slaughtered, he says "it is not what goes through the mouth that disqualifies us and defile us but what comes out of the mouth – The heart matters most than what decomposes (Food we eat) (sic)".
"Christianity has shifted so much from time to time, however at End Times Disciples Ministries the move of God has been seen as many peoples faiths has also been challenged. From changing a snake to chocolate – to partaking octopus and frogs – a dog stew was prepared for the Church to partake as Holy Communion (sic)."
And, to him, it's so nice. "It is no longer a dog, it is the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ," Mnguni said. "I prayed for these bones, this is no longer a dog.... anyone who is against this, is against the Lord." Mnguni also eats the meat himself, telling his followers that "people will say the man of God is not eating the dog". "This is so nice," he says after taking a bite.
In 2016, Mnguni also made headlines after images of him driving over his congregants were posted on social media.
Are people gullible?
Maybe. "We call on our people to not be this gullible, clearly they are being taken advantage of," National Religious Leaders Council Pastor Giet Khoza said.
Khoza further said there was no scientific or medical proof that dog meat can cure cancer or HIV.
He described this insinuation as "ridiculous" and "madness".
He further called on the Department of Health to take Mnguni to task and said that church and religious leaders needed to come up with some sort of code of conduct that could be endorsed by Parliament so that they hold pastors like Mnguni to account.
What's to be done about him?
The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) has previously denounced the practices of Mnguni and has vowed to stop him. "He is bringing the religion into disrepute. We will be going to court to say he is making Christianity look like a joke," commission head Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said in 2016.
Header image credit: AllAfrica.com