'Isolated hate group': Disturbing new claims about Israel Folau's church

The parent of a young rugby player has made some disturbing new claims about Israel Folau and his church.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Christian parent became concerned when Folau started inviting fellow players to the Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Sydney’s north-west, set up by Folau’s father Eni in 2013.

She reportedly decided to attend the church herself and what she saw “disturbed her greatly.”

"I honestly do not want my son involved in what I have come to understand is false teachings and counterfeit Christianity,” she told The Herald.

“I’ve gone, I’ve checked it out and I would call them an isolated hate group.”

Israel Folau watches wife Maria at the Netball World Cup in England. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

The parent reportedly raised her concerns with the Australian Christian Lobby after they set up a fundraising campaign to raise money for Folau’s legal battle with Rugby Australia.

However ACL managing director Martyn Iles told the newspaper: “I have never heard from him (Folau) anything which contradicts mainstream Christian belief.”

The parent also claimed Pastor Eni and 20-year-old nephew Josiah told her: “Only we have the truth.”

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The Folaus reportedly believe only their method of baptism is enough to became a “born again believer”, and anyone who does it differently is heading for hell.

Israel Folau in action for the Wallabies in 2018. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Wallabies begin post-Folau era

The deeply religious Folau had his contract torn up early this year over repeated anti-gay comments he made on social media.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has boldly gone back to the future for the Rugby Championship opener against South Africa, naming Tom Banks as Folau's replacement at fullback.

He also handed a debut to powerhouse number eight Isi Naisarani and gave prop Harry Johnson-Holmes the chance to win his maiden Test cap off the bench.

But Cheika has also looked to the past in naming a run-on team that has 10 changes from the Wallabies' last outing, a 37-18 loss to England at Twickenham in November.

Prop James Slipper plays his first international since 2016 and scrum-half Nic White his first since 2015, while the centres pairing of Tevita Kuridrani and Samu Kerevi have not worked together at Test level since 2017.

Cheika resisted the temptation to pitch James O'Connor back into the fray just days after the former bad boy re-signed with Australian rugby after six years in the Test wilderness.

However, the 44-Test back is sure to feature during the campaign as Cheika seeks to get the misfiring Wallabies humming again.

with agencies