A viral stunt by a South African preacher may lead to several lawsuits, after the self-declared prophet claimed to have resurrected a man at his church in Johannesburg.
A group of funeral directors have said they plan to sue Pastor Alph Lukau for a spectacle he put on in which he appears to convince churchgoers that he brought a man back from the dead. In a now-viral video, he can be heard shouting “rise up” to a man in a coffin. The man then sits upright as onlookers cheer.
The funeral directors, as well as other concerned parties, say Lukau staged the resurrection to manipulate South Africans into donating to the church.
“There are no such things as miracles,” said a spokesperson for the Commission for the Promotional and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, according to BBC. “They are made up to try to get money from the hopelessness of our people.”
Three funeral companies say their reputations have been damaged by the stunt, after hiring out a hearse that was reportedly used by Lukau’s church, Alleluia Ministries International.
They say the group lied to the funeral companies in order to acquire the hearse and a coffin.
In light of the controversy, Alleluia Ministries was quoted by local news as saying that it didn’t actually raise the man from the dead, and that he was “already alive” when he arrived.