A group of men at a Pentecostal megachurch in South Africa opened fire and pelted rocks at each other over a rivalry concerning a vacant leadership position at the church.
News 24 reported that the clash happened on Thursday outside International Pentecost Holiness Church in Silo, Zuurbekom, which left three people injured and hospitalized.
Gauteng police spokesperson captain Mavela Masondo explained that the battle began early local time, when a convoy of vehicles carrying worshipers parked outside the church.
“As they were about to enter the church premises, another group that was inside the church charged at them. They confronted each other. During their confrontation, firearms were pulled out and three people were injured,” he added.
Another 12 cars were badly damaged in the fight, while police confiscated the firearms.
A witness who chose to stay anonymous told TimesLIVE that the two rival church groups at first held talks, but then started pelting each other with rocks, which led to the shooting.
“The people who were shooting did not look like church members'” said the witness. “They were heavily armed'” he added.
IPHC, which has over 3 million worshipers in South Africa and neighboring countries, has reportedly been divided following the 2016 death of its leader, Glayton Modise. Fights over the vacant leadership role have led to a number of court battles, but the issue remains unsolved.
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SOURCE: Christian Post