The upside-down cross of Saint Peter, or as it is know, the Petrine Cross, is widely associated with the anti-Christ or Satanism worshipers.
It was, therefore, without any surprise when an image showing Prophet Shepherd Bushiri reading the Bible upside down went viral on social media, some people labelled the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church founder a Satanist while others declared him a devil’s worshiper.
These labeling were being forged to ratify claims that Bushiri is not only a fake prophet but also an anti-Christ disciple.
But was he indeed reading the bible upside down? Malawi24’s investigative desk set out to dig out the truth while cross-examining the images which has been shared several thousands of times on social media.
Just like our colleagues at AFP’s Fact Check department, what we found was mind-boggling.
Firstly, we discovered that if the bible was indeed being read upside-down, the front cover could have been in Bushiri’s right hand. Yet in this photo, it is in Bushiri’s left hand.
This hinted at the possibility of the infamous image being a product of photoshop. But was it indeed doctored?
Secondly, the text on the bible is distinctively blurred when zoomed in on the image. This was another indicative hint that the photo might have indeed been manipulated.
The same, AFP notes, is the case with the alignment of the text on the image, saying: “You would expect [the text] to be centered on a book cover, and it’s a touch more to the right than it should be”.
Lastly, Maynard Manyowa, who is Prophet Bushiri’s External Media Relations Manager, tweeted what he said was the original image, putting the case to a close, and leading to out verdict: the image showing Bushiri reading the bible upside down had been doctored.
Bushiri, who is currently facing fraud and money laundering charges together with his wife, has been facing a backlash in South Africa after a stampede at his church killed three people. He was, however, cleared of wrong doing in the fatal accident.
With the surge in controversial pastors and self-proclaimed prophets in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the public to cleans the country of questionable religious leaders.
“Those who are doing things that are completely shocking, of trying to hoodwink the whole nation and saying that someone has been raised from the dead, it is actually bringing the name of the Lord, of God and of churches into disrepute,” said Ramaphosa.
His remarks came after Pastor Alph Lukau performed a stunt in which he ‘resurrected’ a dead person.