Héctor Aníbal Gimenez, better known as “Pastor Gimenez” in Argentina, was recently accused of trying to profit off of the global coronavirus pandemic by trying to sell “Blessed antibacterial gel” to his followers.
The Argentine evangelical pastor was denounced last Wednesday before prosecutor Matías Michienzi by a lawyer who said that the antibacterial gel was being offered at the Temple of Waves of Love and Peace, located in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Almagro. The complaint mentioned that the bottles of of gel were also sold on the church’s Facebook page where they were being promoted as blessed by Pastor Gimenez to provide protection against the novel coronavirus.
Gimenez, who was prosecuted for fraud during the 1990’s, obviously denied the charges, saying that he was merely being sarcastic when he told the followers of his church that he would charge them money for the gel. As for the claim that the gel would protect people against the coronavirus, the pastor said that the Bible itself states that for believers “all things are possible and that he was merely encouraging people to keep their hands clean.
Unfortunately for Gimenez, there are videos going around online that show him peddling the blessed antibacterial gel at church meetings and asking for 1,000 pesos (about $15) per bottle.
“I wish I could get antibacterial gel for all of you, to put it on all of your hands, but I have only twelve bottles available, and I want them to represent your family, represent those who can make a pact,” Gimenez said, adding “if they come here, they will have to give a thousand pesos.”
Confronted during a TV show, the pastor tried explaining that he was sarcastic about the price, and that he only used the gel during a ritual, to prevent coronavirus infection. He added that his words were also taken out of context.
“We were not selling the gel. I was about to anoint my disciples with pure tuberose. The pure tuberose was used to anoint Jesus when he had to die on the cross. The anointing is done with the grabbing of hands. I have to touch the hands of my disciples and, since you cannot touch people’s hands (due to the coronavirus pandemic), I used the antibacterial gel to put pure tuberose and anoint my disciples. It was just for them 12,” the pastor said.
Pressed on the issue, and accused of taking advantage of his followers, Gimenez abruptly ended the interview. Several hours later, he was formerly charged and is now facing between fifteen days to a year behind bars.
Héctor Aníbal Gimenez wouldn’t be the first “man of God” to use the coronavirus outbreak to trick his follower into thinking he has a special gift. A few days ago, we wrote about an African pastor who told his congregation that he was getting ready to travel to China and tackle the new coronavirus himself.