Murder victim Lungelo Mchunu
A pastor in KwaZulu Natal has been blasted for stating that gay people are possessed and will go to hell at the funeral of a gay man who was recently murdered.
According to the Daily Sun, Pastor Vusi Zondi of the Full Gospel Church preached fire and brimstone style gospel at the funeral of 20-year-old Lungelo Mchunu, also known as Fani Mchunu.
The young man, a human resources administrator from KwaMashu, was allegedly stabbed to death by a woman who apparently believed that he was having an affair with her boyfriend.
“Gays and lesbians have no place in our society, They have no place even in heaven. They will burn in hell,” Pastor Zondi was quoted as saying at the service on Saturday.
“What kind of women do they think they are if they don’t have monthly periods? Even the way they behave, they are possessed by demons,” he went on to rant.
Mchunu’s friends have demanded that the pastor apologise for his hurtful comments.
“We did not adopt this lifestyle, it was something we were born with,” said James Khoza.
Anthony Waldhausen, Director of the Gay and Lesbian Network in Pietermaritzburg told Mambaonline that the pastor’s comments “were very disturbing, especially coming from a person of this stature.
“These kinds of statements will only escalate hate crimes. People look up to this kind of person. It gives someone perpetrating a hate crime a reason to do it. It incites people to take up hatred towards people. He needs to be made accountable,” Waldhausen said.
Nonhlanhla Mkhize the Manager of the Durban Lesbian & Gay Community & Health Centre said that the comments were in reaction to the previous night’s vigil at which members of the LGBT community spoke openly about Mchunu’s life, as well as some of the mourners being dressed in drag at the funeral itself.
“We do not believe that these statements are appropriate. It seems that a lot of pastors use these funerals as a platform to vent their anger against gays and lesbians,” Mkhize told Mambaonline.
She expressed her frustration at the difficulty in confronting religious leaders directly about their anti-gay views, suggesting that the religious community itself should be dealing with homophobia within its ranks.
“We really wish that we could have more religious leaders taking a stronger stand and telling their colleagues that this is not right,” said Mkhize.
No arrests relating to Mchunu’s murder have yet been made. Mambaonline was unable to reach Pastor Zondi for comment.