A group of concerned parents in and around Durban, South Africa have set up a website –www.ctmiconcernedparents.com – with stories of their children who have become involved with a church identified as Grace Gospel Church. The church is a branch of Church Team Ministries International (CTMI), an international Christian group with head offices in Mauritius. Young people from upmarket Durban suburbs are being recruited into the group which many parents call a mind controlling Christian cult. It is alleged that some are married off to men they hardly know and who are chosen for them by the church.
It has been reported that many young people have abandoned their studies and careers and left their families to live with church leaders at their various homes. CTMI is led by founder and televangelist Miki Hardy, who lived on a luxurious estate.
The Concerned Parents Group was formed with the aim of restoring damaged relationships and educating others about the dangers of the church group. A common thread that runs through the stories of the parents is that their children have become alienated, robotic, and reluctant to participate in family gatherings.
A 22 year – old girl who did not wish to be named attended the church from childhood and spent some time at the group’s headquarters in Mauritius stated: “They believe their way is the only way. They are not bad people, but they are elitist. They have stopped seeing reality. I’ve seen my good friends, girls of 18 and 19, give up their dreams because the church labelled them ‘worldly’ and ‘of the flesh’.
“They’ve had their lives mapped out for them by the church and some have been married off to men chosen for them by the church, guys they hardly know. These girls had good relationships with their families, but not anymore. The church told them these are emotional relationships and not right, and they must distance themselves from their families. No one is forced to go to Mauritius, but they are strongly advised to move there. If you question the leadership and share your own views, then you are ostracised – that’s it. This is out of control.”
What this girl says positively identifies this groups as a cult. Former members of the Jehovah’ Witnesses, Mormons, Moonies, Scientologists etc will all identify with her utterances.
This was originally reporeted on by the Cape Argus and The Star newspapers.