For many decades I have heard more than one COG member who has said they would refuse to let any "unclean" meat touch their lips, even if they were starving to death. or even in a concentration camp.
Would parents let their child die if the only food around was pork or some kind of shellfish?
The reason I ask this is that certain splinter cults of Armstrongism claim to have a large presence in Africa where this is an issue. Wade Cox and Bob Thiel both claim they have thousands of followers in Africa. Cox takes that a step further and claims half of the African continent are now his followers.
Not only are various Church of God splinter group active in Africa, but there are Seventh Day Adventists too. All of these groups are cults that have their origin in American mythological faith-based upstarts who had dreams and visions from their "god".
There is an article that was posted today on an exSDA Facebook page. It discusses how African children are starving because of the "health" rules set down by the SDA's, i.e. vegetarianism. Growing children need meat in addition to vegetarian foods. This is an established and well-researched fact.
The article says this:
A report published on May 25 in a Spanish online news source, El Confidencial, carried a heart-wrenching report by Trinidad Deiros writing from the territory of Masisi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The author ran the piece under the title (translated using Google Translate), “The ‘Famine Sects’ in Congo: Protestant churches that aggravate malnutrition”, and the details are alarming.
The piece opens with the story of a mother, 25-year-old Antoinette, who walked 60 kilometers through the remote trails in the Masisi territory in the eastern region of the Congo, still occupied by both soldiers and bandits, to reach the Kibabi Health Center in North Kivu, the province of the Masisi Territory. Their trek took a week to complete, and the two of them took shelter in the homes of village people along the way when night would fall. Antoinette carried her five-year-old daughter Sarah on her back because Sarah, who is the size and weight of a two-year-old, is unable to walk and is suffering from acute malnutrition and nutritional edema in her feet.
When the nurse at the health center tried to help Sarah to stand up, the child was unable to do so and broke into inconsolable crying. Antoinette clearly loves her daughter, but when the health professionals talked to her about Sarah’s diet contributing to the girl’s sickness, Antoinette responded that “she would never give her meat” to eat. In fact, not only would she never give her daughter meat, but she would never feed her milk, fish, eggs, or anything with an animal origin.
“All animals are contaminated,” she says, explaining that her church forbids eating animal products. “If you taste flesh, you do not enter paradise.”
This woman was a member of an SDA splinter group. Like the COG, SDAism has produced thousands of splinter groups with leaders who claim they know more than anyone else. One of the reasons Church of God cults like Bob Thiel and Wade Cox can garner lots of African members is because Sabbatarianism already has a foothold in many African nations. These people, in their earnest desire to do what they think is right, will jump ship regularly when some other Sabbatarian group claims to have more enlightenment.
Note the many similarities to Armstrongism as the article continues on:
Antoinette is a member of a Seventh-day Adventist offshoot religion called church of Temperance [iglesia de la “Tempérance”] which has a large number of followers in the Masisi territory of the Congo. According to humanitarian workers in the region (such as those with the Italian NGO Cooperation Internazionale [COOPI] and ECHO, the European Union’s humanitarian agency), this Adventist offshoot believes in creation, a millennium, and the return of Jesus Christ to Earth. It considers itself to be the true continuation of the “church of the Apostles”—a claim which strongly echoes traditional Adventist belief.
Significantly, the church of Temperance also claims the Seventh-day Adventist prophet, Ellen White, as its source of spiritual direction.
Local health workers further state that this sect operates by a literal interpretation of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, and it insists that its followers adopt the “edenic diet” of fruit, vegetables, and legumes. Strictly vegan, they believe that any product of animal origin is “unclean”.
The church of Temperance, however, is not the only religions group exacerbating the widespread malnutrition in the Congo. In the same hospital room where Antoinette sits with her critically ill daughter, there is another mother with her malnourished child. When asked, this woman responded that her religion is “Adventist”.
Health workers report that while the Seventh-day Adventist church is not as rigid in its food restrictions as is the church of Temperance, it nevertheless puts its members at risk. While the Adventists do allow “clean meats” and dairy, the reality of Congo poverty is that permissible food is hard to attain. While a vegetarian or even a vegan diet may pose no health threat in a place such as the United States, in the Congo the population is impoverished and lives with a nutritionally deficient diet.How many Church of God members would do the same thing today? Will the Thielites and Coxites suffer at some point in the future because deluded men based outside Africa have told them they should not eat pork?