By Staff Reporter
MARANGE: A local apostolic sect priest here has given his church followers ‘anointed’ ashes to consume as protection against possible COVID-19 infection.
The ashes were collected after a Sabbath service which was held at the end of March in Marange.
After the Sabbath gathering, church elders reportedly took ashes and prayed for them before they gave to their membership to consume at home for their safety and protection from the virus.
Congregates told this publication that the priest, Samuel Jekadzese, claimed he had received a message from the Holy Spirit to pray for the ashes generated from bonfire lit during the Sabbath and give to the church members as a form of protection against the global pandemic.
“After praying that’s when he (priest) told us that the Holy Spirit had spoken through him advising all congregates to eat ashes to protect them from contracting coronavirus,” said one church member.
Another church member, Netsai Mutambara, said she believes in the word and prophecy of her church elders.
“What our leaders say is what we believe. They never failed us. We know we are protected by God. You have to believe what you are told by elders because God always uses them,” she said.
However, other church members said although they believed what is being said by their church leaders, they were also taking heed of government’s call for social distancing and staying at home.
“We have to do both what is being recommended by church leaders and government. It works both ways. I have faith that God has spoken through our church leaders. They don’t lie,” said another devoted church member.
Contacted for comment, Jekadzese, admitted urging church members to eat ashes to protect themselves against coronavirus as it was a message from God.
However, he said the sect elders were also encouraging members to pray for God`s protection and take heed of government’s call to stay at home during the 21-day lockdown period.
“This is a message from God for our members to eat ashes collected and prayed for at our shrine to protect them against the pandemic. But we also ask our church members to take heed of government’s call to stay at home during the 21-day lockdown,” said Jekadzese.