While churches in Zimbabwe are classified as non-profit making organizations, a lot of churches have gone into the business of selling.

In a vox pop with church goers and non-church goers, RelZim has established that some churches are recording brisk business as they sell church items that church goers scramble for at exorbitant prizes.

Most Pentecostal churches have joined the frenzy selling church items from anointing oil, hander kerchiefs, fruits, wrist bands, mugs, stickers, calendars among others.

Some of the things sold are a necessity to believers such that despite the prizes, church goers have to strive to buy the items.

Amon Moyo (36) said he attended a sermon of a Pentecostal church where “blessed” oranges where sold for $10 each said the church was no longer prayerful.

“I feel some pastors and church leaders are stealing from people. How can people be forced to pay for salvation when Jesus already paid for it through his death?  Imagine buying anointing oil for $10 a small bottle in this economic environment where most of us are struggling.

“I think these things should actually be offered for free. If there are costs involved then the church as a whole should take care of the costs and members be given for free,” he said

Hilda Ncube concurred and said, “The church is loosing its mandate. The church is for all people including the poor. If they sell anointing oil which they say heals, brings blessings or prevents bad things from happening what happens to the poor who cannot afford.

“I always see the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries on Yadah Television and most people giving testimonies talk about buying discs and the anointing oil. I have always wondered what will then happen to the poor who cannot even afford meals. These things should be given for free,” she suggested.

However, Joy an elder in one of the churches, defended the church leaders and said most of the money realised during sales was for charity.

“These things are sold to recuperate costs and also some of the proceeds are channeled to the poor in society. Most churches do community work and donate to the needy,” he said

Most of the interviewees agreed that most of the upcoming churches are mainly for the elite class due to the prizes of the church products.

In some churches people are forced to buy blessed bricks for as much as $10. These bricks are said to be bestowed with blessings that will make the followers to own houses, anointing oil charges vary according to the size of bottles while wrists bands vary from one Pentecostal church to another.