Pastor Lukau & the dead man rising: Too many questions, not enough answers
A clip of the so-called miracle is posted on social media, sending users into a frenzy over the authenticity of this act.
JOHANNESBURG - It's a Sunday morning and a healing and deliverance miracle service is on at the Alleluia Ministries International church, north of Joburg, lead by Pastor Alph Lukau.
Wheelchair-bound congregants are rising up and walking, those who struggle to walk and use crutches toss them aside and start running. But something much bigger is about to hit.
While these miracles were still going on inside the church, a hearse pulls up outside, with weeping family members in tow.
Lukau is called outside to tend to the mourners, who've brought a deceased man in a coffin. He'd allegedly been dead since Friday.
Some minutes later, the coffin is opened, with thousands of eyes now watching, Lukau lays his hands on the dead man in a white suit named Elliot, prays and boom! - the man is brought back to life.
The congregants and Elliot's family lose it. A miracle has happened right before their eyes and in broad daylight.
A clip of the 'miracle' is posted on social media, sending users into a frenzy over the authenticity of this alleged act of God wrought through the hands of a 'man of God'.
While Pastor Alph Lukau is busy talking, I encourage to concentrate on the mouth of the guy in the coffin then you will decide if he was dead or not.— Chief Erican (@EricanSA) February 25, 2019
Maybe this guy can bring back the like of Nelson Mandela, Hector Peterson, Hugh Masekela, Steve Biko, OR Tambo and others. pic.twitter.com/lFoNsM0grO
The blind hv seen— Blessed..🙏🏾 (@shemeni_) February 24, 2019
The lame have walked
The Deaf heard at AMI
And now the Dead are
Unbelievable will say it is Staged
But believes know that GOD is strong and mighty with ALL POWER is in hand,What a Mighty God we serve....The God of Alph Lukau is too much 🙏 pic.twitter.com/rYlHgEiEHn
This is the video of the full sermon. The dead man's raising comes in at -1:18:44
Questions from the public have varied: Is this real? Why did the man not look like someone who'd been dead two days? Where is his death certificate? Why was he not immediately tended to by a health care professional?
The funeral parlour which brought the coffin to the church, Kings and Queens Funerals, were duped into being part of the spectacle.
The questions outnumber the answers by far.
Was this guy cut off? Why isn’t this guy not Pail? He looks healthy.. can I see a death certificate? Autopsy? Can you go pray for the SICK in hospitals than TV? pic.twitter.com/FWfbm7mjT8— G.S Maku (@gopolang6) February 24, 2019
Alph Lukau is a fraud. I’ve worked at a morgue. The mouth gets stitched and sealed, the eyes get glued and there’s a special lotion for the face. That dead guy looks like he walked out a spa 😰 I’m reporting Alph as spam.— Katlee 🍒 (@JustKatlee) February 25, 2019
Funeral Parlour Kings and Queens has distanced itself from Prophet #AlphLukau, who claims to have brought a man back from the dead. Its managing director at a PLK branch says the vehicle which is seen carrying the casket was not meant to transport any dead body. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/DEJARLbvrM— Katlego Nyoni (@katlego4ever) February 25, 2019
Kings and Queens Funeral Services has distanced itself from "resurrection" of a man at @AlphLukau's church yesterday, say they offered nothing to the family except the hearse. The funeral palour says it's in the process of taking legal action for "malicious damage" to its image pic.twitter.com/YPAHt9yEN5— Sphelele (@SpheDludla) February 25, 2019
This is supposedly the "dead" man whom Alph Lukau resurrected from the dead.— Mathanda (@MathandaNcube) February 24, 2019
Just look at him.
Such fraud must be punishable! pic.twitter.com/HY5AZSEBCp
Interested to hear @GautengHealth responding to claim made by the "landlord" that this guy was turned away at some hospital because "he had no papers". If we are to take any of this seriously, the dept must demand that Alph Lukau's people tell the name of this alleged hospital pic.twitter.com/gqWe0oUKOr— Sphelele (@SpheDludla) February 25, 2019
Alph Lukau was determined not to be outdone in the church charlatans challenge, so his strategists hatched a plan to resurrect the not-so-dead. So competitive. I stan. 👏🏾 pic.twitter.com/T3EhilS5P1— Phaṱhu (@PhathuMusitha) February 25, 2019
Can I please see the death certificate before we go any further— Bayadika Abelungu (@abelungu) February 24, 2019
So after the autopsy,being frozen for 3 days this guys looks like he just finished taking a shower,put on vaseline n you tell us he was dead,?— EFFOnlineSoldier (@EFFOnlineSldier) February 25, 2019
Of course, social media could not pass the opportunity to turn this into a challenge. Introducing the Dead Man Challenge.
Challenge accepted.. pic.twitter.com/iI2HlOsufe— BOSASA (@Lilcoolkaybee) February 25, 2019
NO STRANGER TO CONTROVERSY
Lukau may be unfamiliar to some, but he is no stranger to controversy.
In 2016, he made news headlines and was even the subject of an investigation by eNCA's Checkpoint after he held a gala dinner at the Gallagher Conference Centre where thousands of single and divorced women were invited to come and be prayed for so they could find their soulmates and get married.
This gala dinner did not come cheap though. The cheapest ticket was R450, while R5,000 got attendees a seat at the VIP section.
The following Sunday at his church, a mass wedding was held with women who'd attended the dinner getting married to their partners.
Lukau has also raised eyebrows for claiming to heal HIV/Aids, TB and other illnesses.
However, unlike his counterparts Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and Timothy Omotoso, Lukau has not faced any criminal charges nor been referred to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural and Religious Rights (CRL).
He has, however, been embroiled in a legal battle with South African-based Nigerian journalist Solomon Ashoms after Lukau sued Ashoms for defamation of character after the journalist claimed he was a fake preacher on his Facebook account.
Lukau and his church are yet to publicly respond to claims that the miracle was staged.