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South Africa's booze church celebrates easing of virus controls

This unorthodox South African church believes that drinking brings you closer to God. Gabola Church, which means "drinking" in the Tswana language, was founded three years ago by Tsietsi Makiti to capture the unchurched people that would be rejected by conventional churches that frown on drinkers. This congregation rejoices as the sale of alcohol is allowed once more in the country Last Sunday's service was held at Bunny's Tavern in the working-class suburb of Evaton, 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Johannesburg. Gabola was founded in 2017 by Tsietsi Makiti, 54, to capture the unchurched people who would ordinarily be rejected by conventional traditional and evangelical churches that frown on imbibers. Worshippers sip away as they listen to the sermon. The improvised pulpit is decorated with bottles of gin and lagers. The leader's black-and-gold mitre is decked with two miniature bottles of Johnnie Walker whisky and a popular South African liqueur called Amarula. After the sermon, congregants -- who all have to be over 21 years of age -- sang and danced the afternoon away.