Pastor Lesego Daniel (pictured) has been at the center of some heated controversy, after it was publicized — via his Rabboni Centre Ministries in Garankuwa, South Africa’s Facebook page — that he had instructed congregation members to eat grass so that they can “be closer to God,” according to Times Live.
The minister, who is oftentimes referred to as a “miracle man,” reportedly made his congregation of about 1,000 eat the grass as part of a ritual to show that humans can be controlled by God’s spirit.
When the church members ate the grass, a few claimed they were cured of their ills. One woman, 21-year-old law student Rosemary Phetha claimed she suffered from a sore throat for an entire year. Once the young woman ingested the grass, she swore it healed her malady, telling Times Live, that the preacher “turned me into a sheep and instructed me to eat grass. Yes, we eat grass and we’re proud of it because it demonstrates that, with God’s power, we can do anything.” the young congregant enthused.
Doreen Kgatle, 27, told Times Live that she suffered a stroke two years ago that left her paralyzed and unable to walk; yet, after she obeyed her pastor’s wishes, it resulted in a cure. “I could not walk, but soon after eating the grass, as the pastor had ordered, I started gaining strength, and an hour later, I could walk again,” Kgatle contends.
As the obedient ministry followers ate the grass, Daniels was allegedly witnessed walking on top of his congregants as they were spread out across a lawn.
But not everyone was cured from what ailed them. Instead, many reportedly received more than what they bargained for when they became violently ill after ingesting the grass: Throngs of followers wound up vomiting.
During another service, Daniels allegedly put a few congregants to sleep then ordered them to slap and trample on one another. On Facebook, Daniels reportedly boasted about his ability to put people to sleep and went as far as saying that he could even do so with arresting officers:
You can leave them like this for six months. I love this, I don’t want to be bored. You can even make police go to sleep when they come to arrest you,’ he said in a Facebook posting.
In addition to Daniels alleged curative powers apparently attracting believers from all walks of life, the good preacher also reportedly rakes in quite a bit of loot from the wares he is peddling from “miracle” bumper stickers to anointing oils that possess special powers to calendars. If folks do not have the cash to buy the allegedly blessed items, then the church will accept credit or debit cards.
But not everyone is convinced by Daniels spiritual claims. One Facebook poster remarked after seeing the pictures of the congregants eating grass, “Is this a scene in a movie…this can’t be real. God created animals to chew grass and made human beings to dominate over animals. Any person who reduces human beings to animals is definitely not of God.”
In the midst of all of the backlash, the only statement Daniel has made regarding the grass-eating event was on Thursday, when he posted on Facebook:
God is at work and His people are testifying right now at the farm. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.’