Prophet’ Jerome Fernando, the man in the middle of controversy over his statement on other religions including Buddhism, is reported to have left the country. It is learnt that Fernando has gone to Singapore and he is planning to travel to Malaysia.
However a spokesman for Glorious Church led by Jerome Fernando denied that the ‘prophet’ left Sri Lanka. “He never fled the country but went to attend an event. We have various events in other countries. This is a journey that was planned earlier,” Ryan Perera, a leader of Glorious Church said.
However on Tuesday evening Colombo Fort Magistrate issued a travel ban on Jerome Fernando following a complaint by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
The self-proclaimed prophet became notoriously popular with his connection with the powerful politicians, extravagant spending and more questionable doings; bestowing himself as the spiritual son of Uebert Angel, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador At Large who was exposed for using his diplomatic status to launder millions of US dollars through a gold smuggling scheme according to an Al Jazeera undercover investigation recently.
Uebert, who visited Sri Lanka in February 2020 for a weeklong conference, saw thousands in attendance and there was tight security provided by the government given that it was folloinwg the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks. During his visit Uebert, who is also famous as a businessman and an investor, together with his wife Beverly met the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members at their residence in Colombo.
Videos went viral where Jerome prostrates himself before Uebert; repeatedly in public. Starting as an ordinary preacher on Jesus, Jerome’s entire journey changed with the meeting of his new found spiritual father Angel.
“This was the time we started to see his changes. He used to talk and preach about money and money,” one of the followers who left Jerome told Daily Mirror.
“We warned about this man, but he didn’t want to listen to us”.
Dressed lavishly with extremely expensive attire, Jerome converted to super luxury life and even publicly questioned his followers, “what have you given to your prophet,” indicating that that his followers should give him money.
“With the meeting of Uebert, Jerome changed the entire system and he even changed the name as ‘Glorious Church,” one of those in the ‘Inner Circle’ of Jerome said.
Over the yearts he also got this idea of building a big place which was later named as ‘Miracle Dome’ in Katunayake. Then he started collecting money and we have no idea how much went to his pocket,” the former follower who spoke on terms of anonymity said.
Many questions have been raised regarding the controversial miracles performed by Jerome. “These are all fakes. He has an organised system for the ‘enactment’ of so called miracles,” a senior religious leader who left Jerome told the Daily Mirror. Ordinary people with simple faith would get attracted to these and it is not right to do these in the name of a religion or a religious leader.
Adding to his latest businesses, Jerome who always wore dress in designer dresses and branded items recently started an upmarket dress shop named ‘Prize’.
Daily Mirror was in touch with the secretary of Jerome Fernando for past three weeks and she promised to arrange an interview with the ‘prophet’. However later all attempts to contact her failed and she did not respond to the messages sent by this newspaper. However from Monday evening her phone too had been
set on roaming.
“Sri Lankans should be proud for having a man like Prophet Jerome,”
a leader of Glorious church Representing the Gloriuous Church of Jerome Fernando, church leader, Ryan Perera said that Sri Lanka should be proud to have a man like Jerome Fernando.
Responding to the allegations that Jerome Fernando’s statement have created religious disharmony Mr. Perera said that the statement had been taken out of context. “If somebody takes something out of a message and then tries to propagate in a different manner obliviously it would look controversial”.
I don’t think there was ever anything where he has mentioned that people would get aroused and create an uprising,”.
“Where have you seen Christians going and attacking other religious places in Sri Lanka. It has never happened. There are so many other extremists who do various other things and try to create religious defuse and create ethnic issues,” he complained.
“He is mentioning something to do with Jesus. And that should not be misconstrued and just pull apart and take unnecessarily in a wrong manner. Then it looks like something else.”
Asked about President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s direction to probe into the statement and police investigations that followed, Mr. Perera said that they would have to wait and see.
“ We will wait and see. At the end of the day we have not done anything wrong.”
He further denied the allegation of enacting fake miracles and questioned as to how one can concoct a sickness.
He further defended Jerome Fernando’s spiritual father, Uebert Angel and his controversial conduct. “Anyone can have a mentor. For something to do with a mentor, the mentee cannot be attacked,” he argued.
Referring to religious leaders including Buddhists, Catholic and Christians coming forward against the statement referring to the Buddha, and other religious founders Mr. Perera said “it is always the trees that bear fruits get stones. Irrespective of great respect to all religions and I don’t think we disrespected any religion,”.
Ryan Perera also claimed that most of the good work done by Glorious Church had not been highlighted. “Most of the sick we get are either those given up by doctors and given up medical treatment. Where are they going to find the solutions? We as a church trying to help people,” he justified.
“There are so many good which are not getting highlighted. During our prayer services we pray for the country and the leaders and presidents. Every time it is about negative side is highlighted”.
He also said that there are many coming to Sri Lanka from abroad because of Jerome Fernando. “At a time when people are not even thinking about coming to this country because of Prophet Jerome so many people are flying into Sri Lanka. Have you ever heard Sri Lankan mentoring other nationals, Europeans, American and for that matter Indians. It was always Sri Lankan going to get mentored to other country. Sri Lankans should be proud for having a man like this,” he said.