'False prophets' just enriching themselves: Labitzke

26 Jan 2014 16:00pm
ONDANGWA, 20 JAN (NAMPA) - Namibia is facing an influx of ‘false prophets’ who are enriching themselves by telling people they can heal them of illness and difficulties through prayer.
The leader of the Omupanda Outreach Ministry, Pastor Helmut Labitzke said this whilst speaking to journalists at Ondangwa on Thursday.
Labitzke called on all Namibians to return to the old belief that the only salvation lies in Jesus Christ, and not in miracles conducted by human beings.
“Those claiming to heal other people through miracles are false prophets who are similar to witchdoctors. They are using the force of the devil,” he said.
According to Labitzke, many people have approached his ministry for help, confessing that they were lured by false prophets into joining their “congregations” to be healed, to become rich and to get promotions at work.
He indicated that people are lured mostly from the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican churches.
Labitzke claimed that some people commit suicide after losing their property and money after offering these to the ‘prophets’, who he said demand such items during their prayer sessions.
The leader of the Omupanda Outreach Ministry says a religious symposium needs to be organised in Namibia to directly deal with the issue of false prophets “causing havoc” in Namibia.
Labitzke has been preaching in local villages over the past five years, starting at Ondingandinga village in the Oshana Region’s Okaku Constituency.
Born in Tsumeb in the Oshikoto Region 55 years ago, Labitzke completed his tertiary education in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was involved in a wholesale business which owned a warehouse at Ondjiva in Angola before returning to Namibia some 13 years ago.
Labitzke said he received the calling to become a preacher after abandoning his business.
He has two sons from a previous marriage, and got married to his current wife in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) at Onayena in the Oshikoto Region last August. “Our ministry grew from strength to strength since then and we are now reaching out to hundreds of people in the villages here. We also send text messages to 16 000 people in and outside the country since last year,” he said.