By Tim Binnall
A South African pastor has become the subject of nationwide ridicule and found himself in potential legal trouble after he faked a resurrection during a service. The ill-conceived stunt was reportedly orchestrated by Pastor Alph Lukau in Johannesburg over the weekend. In a rather elaborate display, a casket containing a body was pulled from a hearse and put in front of the holy man. Much to the amazement of his astonished parishioners, the pastor then performed a ritual, of sorts, which appeared to bring the body back to life.
Footage of the fantastic and, quite frankly, clearly fake event quickly went viral in South Africa to the point that amused individuals on social media turned the event into a meme called the 'Resurrection Challenge.' Meanwhile, the companies who were enlisted to furnish the faux funeral were furious and announced plans to sue the pastor for fraud. And now even the authorities are looking into the matter, suggesting that criminal charges for the stunt could soon be filed.
For his part, the pastor's church has attempted to spin the situation by claiming that the 'dead man' had actually begun to come back to life before the service started and Lukau was merely putting the proverbial finishing touches on the 'miracle.' Whether that outlandish assertion will be enough to quell the potential legal issues now swirling around the spiritual figure remains to be seen, but it's unlikely to help his public image now that he's become a punch line throughout South Africa.