Sometimes, the most gullible person in a church is its leader. When a man sweeps a whole crowd up in the idea that God has declared him His prophet and blessed him divine powers, it’s not always because he’s a con man. Some of these people just genuinely believe they have magical powers.
And that’s when it can be really dangerous. Because when they put those powers to the test, it can lead to absolute disaster.
Here are 4 Self-Proclaimed African Pastors Whose Miracles Went Horribly Wrong.
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1. The Pastor Who Crushed A Woman With A Speaker
In 2016, a self-proclaimed prophet in South Africa told his followers that if Jesus could walk on water, they, too, could do anything with faith. And he was going to prove it.
He ordered a young woman in the praise team to lay down in front of the congregation and then got his ushers to put a heavy PA speaker on her chest. She would not die, he promised, because God would not allow it. Then he climbed on top of the speaker himself and sat atop it, inviting the church to marvel at how the woman wasn’t even letting out so much as a peep of complaint.
When they took the speaker off her, they found out why she wasn’t fussing: She was dead. Her ribs had been crushed under the weight of the speaker, and she had died almost instantly.
The pastor, though, insisted it wasn’t his fault. The woman died, he told the police, because she had “little faith.” It was her fault, he insisted, for not being able to “withstand a very simple task.”
2. The Prophet Who Challenged A Pride Of Lions To A Fistfight
Alec Ndiwane, a South African preacher, is said to have been visiting Kruger National Park in 2016 when he suddenly became convinced that the Holy Spirit had filled him the strength of Samson. He had been given the power, he declared, to kill a lion with his bare hands —and he was going to prove it.
Ndiwane supposedly spotted a pride of
lions eating an impala and announced that he was going to take them out. Then he is claimed to have opened up the car door, stepped outside, and started charging straight at the lions.
The entire pride of lions simultaneously stopped eating and charged at Ndiwane, who, in what was apparently a brief moment of lucidity, changed his mind and tried to get back into the car. Lions, however, are faster than South African preachers, and they tackled him.
Ndiwane probably would have died if it wasn’t for a park ranger scaring the lions off with warning shots. Still, Ndiwane was seriously injured and shaken. When it was all over, he was more confused than anything.
Struggling to understand what had gone wrong, he allegedly told the press, “I thought the Lord wanted to use me to show His power over animals.
3. The Bishop Who Paid A Man To Play Dead
Nigerian bishop Emmanuel Esezobor, according to an allegation, accidentally killed a man in 2016 by trying to fake a miracle. The man’s family says that Esezobor offered him 500,000 Nigerian nairas to climb into a coffin and play dead until Esezobor gave him the word. Then, the man would rise up in front of his congregation and prove that Esezobor had power over life and death.
The man signed on for the deal, but things went wrong when they started planning a little too far in advance. The coffin Esezobor put him in was airtight, and while he waited for his cue, the man ran out of oxygen and suffocated inside.
When the big moment came, and Esezobor ordered him to rise, the man didn’t move—because he was actually dead.
3. The Prophet Who Buried Himself Alive
In 2015, Zimbabwean prophet Shamiso Kanyama believed that one of his follower’s homes was cursed by evil spirits. The family that lived there had fallen on hard times. The only way to fix them, Kanyama believed, was if he died. Kanyama would cross over to the underworld, where he could exorcise the evil spirits from the home.
He ordered five of his followers to dig a pit in front of the house and bury him alive inside. Buried under the earth, he promised them, he would “gain power to drive away the evil forces” and heal their home.
The family’s neighbor, who was actually sane, tried to stop them from burying the man alive, but Kanyama yelled at the man who was trying to save his life until he gave up. He told the man he was disturbing his angels and insisted his followers bury him alive, no matter who tried to stop them. Which they did. The men buried their prophet alive and then waited for him to complete his mission in the afterlife. Then they dug the pit back up, and sure enough, they found Kanyama’s dead and motionless body at the bottom…
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