Burnin' Up With Holy Fever
A group of Pentecostal Christian converts has started setting fire to native artefacts and denouncing native traditions as devil worship in Australia’s Kimberley region. How charming.
Numerous rugged outback communities in the area have started following a Tongan-born preacher called Ana Makahununiu and African missionaries who urge this holy cleansing.
Pentecostalism which is powering the surge in pyromania, is also behind big Aussie churches like Hillsong and Horizon Church. It grew 20 percent in 2016 alone, while other churches were shrinking, so they must be doing something different.
Different they are indeed. Pentecostals take the Bible literally and believe in speaking in tongues. Pentecostalists also believe in “slain in the spirit,” where believers fall down writhing during emotional prayer services.
That Christian love hits real hard when you see the flames burn up the belongings of the devil worshipers who gave you life.
Australian Aboriginal leaders like Labour Senator Pat Dodson have denounced the crusade calling it a “virus” lacking any credibility. Dodson says the destruction of Aboriginal culture is “the lowest act you could perform.”, but then again that’s sort of what started the whole ‘Australia’ thing in the first place.
Many of the biggest controversies have surrounded an Aboriginal community of born-again believers in Wangkatjungka. Only a year after Makahununiu began preaching the Good Word, followers started burning sinful things like cigarettes and ancestral objects.
“It’s not the people really who are getting wild, it’s the devil behind them getting wild,” said one woman burning the items.
Protip: a solid murder defence is to say nothing touched the trigger but the devil’s right hand (or left hand if you are a southpaw).
It sounds like Makahununiu’s been handing out a wackload of crazy pills in some of these towns. Many locals are lovin’ it, like Olive Knight who says the traditions she grew up with were “so restrictive” and full of fear.
“Would it be better to live in a culture that … there’s nothing but fear and retribution, or go to someone who’s loving, a loving God?” Knight asked.
What better way to shed the fear and retribution of the past than join a group of angry, bonfire enthusiasts who like to rant about God’s love while torching stuff?
One of the biggest Pentecostal churches that’s been active in the Kimberley and rural Western and Northern Territory Australia is called Forward in Faith and is from Zimbabwe.
Kenneth Chihwayi, who’s from said church, said that in order to “penetrate the Aboriginal” they must slowly show them the incompatibility of their traditions with Christianity.
“Generally speaking, Aboriginals mistrust white people,” he said. “They consider Africans as brothers, so they open up to us.”
Could this get any sadder? The only thing Chihwayi should be penetrating along with his sanity is a website to buy a one-way ticket home.