Members and patrons of a South African Christian ministry eat turf grass as a part of a religious ritual.
Grass eating is a key spiritual practice at least to worshippers of Rabboni Centre Ministries in Ga-Rankuwa, North Pretoria.
Patrons of the ministry believed eating grass is one way of demonstrating God's power, blessings and grace. So under the mandate of their religious leader, Pastor Lesego Daniel, congregates were summoned to eat grass.
Pastor Daniel found the grass eating ministry in November 2002. According to him, the spirit of God can make people eat almost everything. The religious leader believed the grass-eating will bring patrons closer to God.
"A shepherd leads, and I want to lead people to a place they've never been...go and eat!" the pastor said on his illustration of the unusual ritual, in a News.com.au report.
"If Jesus turned water into wine, we are turning the grass into spaghetti mince," he added.
Leaked photos and videos of the habitual ritual where patrons were kneeling and grazing on turf grass become hit over the Internet. These also drew controversy online about the people who had seen them criticized Daniel's way of leading the congregation. Although the religious leader firmly believed he is leading his ministry to the right path.
Patrons also claimed eating grass and following the ministry cured their illnesses. Despite the controversy brought by their religious practice, worshippers have no plan to stop what they are doing.
A ministry patron told the Times Live online, "Yes, we eat grass and we're proud of it because it demonstrates that, with God's power, we can do anything."
Pastor Daniel preaching sessions are always packed with believers. Aside from eating grass, there are more odd activities on the ministry's ceremony.
The pastor was also tagged as"the miracle man" as he can turn believers in a deep sleep and can break them from slumber in minutes. At times, the pastor would make demand his followers to sleep and he will walk on top of the unresponsive and rigid followers lying on the ground.