Religion has always been a source of inspiration, strength and hope since time immemorial. Most people find the will to soldier on in life because of it. There have been, however, some major church scandals that have left the nation and the world at large puzzled over the credibility of religion, in particular, Christianity in Zimbabwe.
1 The Anglican church split.
A few years ago, the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe found itself divided and the end result was the birth of two factions withing the same church. Bishop Nobert Kunonga, a staunch Zanu Pf supporter, was moving towards the removal of the Zimbabwean church from the rest of the international branch because he did not support homosexuality. What followed was a bitter war between the Kunonga faction and the Gandiwa faction. Kunonga, with more political muscle, evicted those who is not support him from most of the church buildings. He even imposed his own pastors in Anglican boarding schools.
After years of fighting over the issue, Kunonga was eventually removed from the church, properties restored and he went on to form his own version of the Anglican Church.
2 Prophetic healing and Deliverance ministries sexual scandal.
Prophet Walter Magaya became an overnight celebrity when he started his PHD ministries in Waterfalls. It was his purpoted miracles and annointing oil that attracted scores of people to his church. A few years down the line, the man of cloth was accused of sexually abusing his female congregants particularly those in the praise and worship team. The most popurlar scandal were the rape allegations levelled against him by one Donhodzo Petronella Mandaza. Several other women including celebrities also came foward with similar allegations sparking a # Me too campaign.
3 The Roman Catholic priests sodomy scandal.
Renowned for its strict discipline and code of conduct, the Roman Catholic church has amassed millions of worshippers worlwide. Sodomy allegations were however levelled against some of the parish priests, in particular one Father Run’anga who was said to have sexually abused some boys at a boarding school. He was later expelled from the church.
4 The AFM court row.
Members of the AFM church have been dragging each other to court in a heated dispute over succession. At one point the Madawo faction and the Chiyangwa faction members fought each other in church. In a recent ruling at high court Judge Mushore advised the two groups to co exist and behave like christians.
5 The Apostolic sects marital issues.
From back in the days there have been issues about members of apostolic sects marrying off under age girls to grown men. A recent article by this publication exposed a Johanne Masowe echishanu grandfather who married a 15 year old congregant. With the Supreme Court taking a stern approach to child marriages, the church seems to be moving behind times.