THE Christian community in Zimbabwe has raised concern over the growing trend by the younger generations of getting tattoos, describing it as "demonic and abominable".
It is believed that most youths would be mimicking some Western celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Rihanna that spot tattoos.
Word of Life International Ministries founder, Goodwill Shana said tattooing one's body did not bring glory to God.
"The Bible in 1Corinthians 6 vs 9 clearly states that 'our bodies are the temple of the holy ghost which is in you,' tattoos are a permanent mark and they cannot be erased, so whatever we do to our bodies is not for us but for God, we then have to honour our bodies" said Shana. "In Hosea, The Bible tells us that my people perish because of lack of knowledge, some of these tattoos have certain attributes attached to them."
Zaoga FIF Church member, Kudakwashe Muchemenyi, said tattoos are a terrible sin which is not forgivable.
"The issue of tattoos among Christians is terrible; not only do they deface the body which is the temple of God, but they also affect the spirituality of the person because they are associated with demonic spirits," said Muchemenyi. "It is a sin to have tattoos, especially if you are a born again Christian, but to those who had them before they received Christ, they are forgiven because they did it while they were still in the dark. However, those people who had tattoos after they were born again need serious deliverance as well as counselling."
Muchemenyi added: "The Bible clearly states in Leviticus 19 vs 28 that 'do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves' so this only shows that God is against tattoos."
Mary Saidi, a Nazarene church member, said: "Tattoos on their own have power. they are connected with the spirit world and a tattoo is really much more than simply a body decoration, the evil can easily get through those openings. Some designs really bear serious symbolic mystical and occult meanings.
Personally, I would not get a tattoo."
Tattooing has various meanings and is primarily used for cosmetic, sentimental or religious reasons. The procedure involves cutting the flesh with a sharp needle or instrument in order to make a design.
A youth from one Pentecostal church, who refused to be named, said he did not see anything wrong with spotting tattoos.
"I don't see anything wrong with me getting a tattoo as a Christian. I actually have a tattoo written 'I Love Jesus' on my arm, it is just the same as dressing, and people differ, so it all depends on the individual and what they believe in," said the youth.
David Beckham boasts 32 tattoos and he says they all have "a meaning", with a few of them being Christian symbols.
The football legend unveiled a tattoo of Jesus and three cherubs on his upper left chest in 2011 that he said represented his sons, Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz.
"It's Jesus being carried by three cherubs and obviously the cherubs are my boys," David told Hello Daily News then. "My thought is that at some point my boys are going to need to look after me and that's what they're doing in the picture. It means a lot."
Reports say Rihanna now has 19 tattoos. She has admitted that tattoos for her are like an addiction. "I like hanging out in tattoo shops," she was quoted as having said recently. "I am so intrigued by tattoos. It's an entire culture, and I study it."