Cape Town – The Evangelical Lutheran church has called on EFF leader Julius Malema to publicly apologise for allegedly making what it labelled blasphemous statements that amount to hate speech.
The church said Malema made comments such as: “You don't wait for Jesus to come because you are Jesus" and ”l will give blacks free land. Unlike Jesus, I don't need a silly cross to save my people."
The church, in an open letter, said the comments amounted to hate speech.
“Based on your utterances, it is clear that you are not a Christian. If you are an atheist or embrace any other religion, we appeal to you to respect the right of Christians to believe in Jesus. Mr Malema, for you the cross is silly and foolish but for us who are saved it is the power of God,” the church said.
Approached for comment on Tuesday, the EFF said it had no comment on the matter.
The church called for Malema to publicly apologise to all Christians.
“This blasphemy is not a new phenomenon. Five years after the launch of the EFF you equate the arrival of the EFF on the political scene as the ‘second coming of Jesus’. It seems that you have an obsession to blaspheme Jesus.
“We appeal to you to refrain from any blasphemous behaviour in future and respect the right of Christians to freedom of religion. Furthermore, we demand that you publicly apologise to all Christians,” it said.
This follows calls by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) for Malema to apologise for being “blasphemous” last month.
“… Addressing a crowd of supporters, he is heard saying, ‘We are not religious. We can’t wait for Jesus to come, we are Jesus ourselves’.
“To equate yourself with Christ Jesus, is to declare that you are Divine and this is where the line must be drawn,” the party said.