The Founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, may be sentenced to prison alongside other South African pastors for offences of non-compliance with the country’s regulations on how religious bodies should operate, News24 reports.
The South African government has begun investigations on the abuse from religious bodies on people’s believes, the commercialization of religion and has summoned many churches to present their registration certificate, statement of accounts, ordination certificate and their annual financial statements from 2012 till date.
The Head of commission in charge of religious organisations, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, said that many of the religious leaders in South Africa may face jail terms for failing to comply with its directives.
“Some of these religious leaders will face prison if they do not comply and we have been clear about our course of action,”
“Some religious leaders have also threatened the commission, which is leading us towards the legal route.
She also recalled that Pastor Oyakhilome has shown interest in taking the commission to court to stop it from forcing him to reveal the church’s account, though Christ Embassy earlier asked for elongation of time so as to enable it review its accounts.
“If Oyakhilome intends on that route, we are ready. He will have to face the same fate as the others who refuse to hand over their financial records”, Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said
She wondered how those pastors would collect money from their followers and yet did not want to give account. She noted that the commission would not back down until it knows what they are doing with those money.
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