Pastor Rooies Strauss from the Northern Cape said he was not sorry about his statements that autism was a demonic state.
Over the weekend, the pastor who is also a crocodile farmer, landed in hot water over a video in which he prayed for two young men and said autism was a demonic state that could be exorcised.
“Some people wanted to shoot me, others cursed me and threatened to burn down my house, but we forgive them,” he said.
Strauss said he served in the army, worked in the police drug squad and later in the occult unit, and knew what he was talking about.
“When a doctor says it’s a mental state, there are spirits involved and then the demon needs to be exorcised. You can’t prescribe a pill for demons,” he said.
Strauss said he never said autism was part of witchery.
“I said Satan makes you sick and I believe Jesus heals you. That’s why I exorcise some illness in Jesus’ name,” he said.
Strauss said despite the negative responses, he had many requests for healing.
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Autism SA national director Juliet Carter said they didn’t want to get involved in a debate, adding autism was a neuro-developmental condition.
“We respect religious and cultural views, but we want to make it clear it is a medical condition,” she said. Identity Church pastor Dr Sydney Avenant said it was understandable that people who have never dealt with any demons or unclean spirits may not be aware of such.
“The spiritual realm is real and people can take it very badly and be upset because as humans. We normally judge things when we do not understand,” he said.
‘Always the devil’s fault’
Paralegal and member of the executive committee of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance, Tristan Kapp, said he was getting tired of the narrative that it was always the devil’s fault.
Kapp said in South Africa, sexuality and medical conditions were often discussed among lay and charismatic preachers.
Kapp said crimes committed in the name of God will never enjoy the spotlight because everyone was too afraid skeletons of Christianity would tumble out of the closet.
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