Johannesburg -

A Soweto trainee pastor who was arrested for allegedly raping a woman in his church was dismissed, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God said on Saturday.

“Following this arrest the church leadership interviewed the person and has summarily dismissed him from the body of pastors,” spokeswoman Nametso Mofokeng said in a statement.

She said the church would support the police's investigation and was confident justice would be served.

“The church categorically condemns any form of domestic violence and does not condone rape under any circumstances.”

The pastor was arrested on Friday night after the woman he allegedly raped reported him.

The 29-year-old said she was called to the church in Zola, Soweto, so the pastor could return a cellphone he borrowed, Warrant Officer Kay Makhubele said.

The man kept her there and allegedly raped her three times.

“He then threatened to strangle her if she screamed when he raped her,” she said.

Mofokeng said the church was deeply distressed by any cases of rape but particularly when people in positions of leadership abused their situation.

“The church offers no protection for abusers. Regardless of your position in the church. If you have violated anyone, you will have to face the consequences.” - Sapa