In a bizarre story out of Africa, 20 people died and many others were injured when they made a mad dash out of the “Arise and Shine Ministry” in Tanzania in order to get anointed with holy water.
It was not immediately clear what prompted the stampede, which took place on Saturday. But it occurred when church faithful were being ushered through an exit so that they could walk on “anointed oil,” according to a government spokesman.
But Interior Minister George Simbachawene said that [preacher Boniface] Mwamposa had been arrested after the deaths. The charges against him were not immediately revealed.
Another report gets more specific: It says Mwamposa poured some holy water on the ground and everyone tried to step on it in the hopes it would cure all of their sicknesses. Believing that a few drops of God-tainted liquid were more powerful than any normal medicine, they had no qualms about hurting other people to reach it. It’s religious delusion leading to the worst possible outcome.
What did Mwamposa think would happen? When you tell people you have a magical potion that will fix everything that’s troubling them, and you’ve convinced them you’re telling the truth, this kind of outcome doesn’t seem all that surprising. Religion promises the world and leads to ultimate disappointment.
You have to wonder how people reacted when they realized the “holy” water fixed nothing while dead bodies lay all around them.
Naturally, after the chaos, Mwamposa ran off to the city of Dar es Salaam instead of helping those who were injured.
This isn’t the first time religious nutbaggery has led to mass deaths in Africa. It’s only the latest. And many of them occur for the same reasons: People are brainwashed into thinking someone possesses a miracle cure that doesn’t exist, and they’re perfectly willing to sacrifice others’ lives to get a piece of it.
(Screenshot via YouTube)