Anglican Bishop, Bethlehem Nopece, has reacted to the recent racist comment by Senior Pastor Andre Olivier of the Congregants of the Rivers Church in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Pastor Olivier told his congregants on Sunday that “the whites are better-off than the black folks because they did not steal land, they are favoured by God and they work harder than other races.”
Nopece said in his view that it is not true that whites are better-off rather blacks are “elevated” and have better opportunities in life.
While many black celebrities like Lloyd Cele‚ Tumisho Masha and Lorna Maseko supported Olivier’s racist sermon and dubbed him a “good man of God”, numerous others like Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema threatened to pull down the Rivers church pastor for suggesting that blacks are lazy.
Bethlehem Nopece Condemns Racism
Bethlehem Nopece said: “The problem with the people who sit in the pews is that they don’t fall in love with Christ‚ they fall in love with the incumbent [pastor]. They turn a blind eye to what the incumbent they love says. Some have accepted what the incumbent says to be the testament.
It’s sad that this happens with black people … They need to open their eyes to the realities of life.”
Founder of the Incredible Happenings church‚ Paseka Motsoeneng‚ popularly known as Pastor Mboro, who also spoke in support of Nopece said that most successful middle blacks are those who pay a deaf ear to racism.
“They see themselves as their white counterparts. They left the townships. They speak the language. Some even forget that they are black. Some have never even experienced racism,” Mboro added.
Olivier has since apologized for his comments. In his tweets, the pastor admitted that he chose his words poorly.
He said: “Reflecting on my sermon last weekend, I believe that it is right for me to express my regret for the hurt and offense that was caused by my statements made during my message. For that I unreservedly apologise.
I recognise that my words were poorly chosen, particularly in [the] context of where this country comes from. My comments did not reflect my intention, and I acknowledge the harm that has come as a result.
I love all South Africans and am committed to build the country to overcome the wrongs of the past. Words cannot express my full remorse. I trust that my future actions will support the sincerity of my apology.”