Horror Show Sunday: Waiting Until After the Service

I guess it’s a good thing he waited?  In Zimbabwe, an Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) pastor has been arrested and charged with rape after he offered to take a 16 year old congregant home following a church service.  Isheanusu Muposhi, 27, said he would take the unnamed minor girl home following a service in Bulawayo’s Emakhandeni suburb, during which he’s reported to have pounced on the girl and raped her.  Congregants report having seen him with the girl before the assault.  Can anyone say they are surprised?

Well you’d better not because this is not at all uncommon among AFM pastors in Zimbabwe.  A couple of years before, another pastor, Oliver Makomo, was charged with raping one of his congregants as well.  He was 49 when he started pursing a 22 year old woman.  He had first visited her at her work where he obtained her phone number and over time, asked her if she was a virgin.  He invited her to his office at the church where he locked the door and proceeded to molest her.  She was told not to tell anyone and, at least at the time, she complied.  However, the abuse didn’t end there, it went on for several years, during which the pastor’s position in the church afforded him repeated occasions to force himself on his victim and she never came forward fearing filing a complaint against a respected pastor.  It wasn’t until 2015 when the victim admitted what had happened to her boyfriend and the pastor was brought to justice.

This is exactly why the level of respect and admiration often given to the clergy is so problematic.  How many stories have we seen where someone is sexually abused and told they can’t tell anyone because their rapist is a respected member of the community and the church?  When you pretend to be the mouthpiece of God, you wield a lot of undeserved power and unfortunately, as we see in far too many of these cases, get away with pretty much anything you want.  That’s why I give them so much attention on Horror Show Sunday, because this abuse of power and influence is absurdly commonplace.  You shouldn’t trust your pastor and you certainly shouldn’t fear the repercussions of reporting them to the police.  I wonder just how many get away with their crimes because the victims are afraid of being punished in the hereafter.  It’s just sad.

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