TB JOSHUA IN THE ECONOMIST NEWSPAPER
The reputable Newspaper, The Economist, featured Prophet T.B. Joshua today (06.07.12) in an article where he is quoted as saying, “It doesn’t matter how many people come to services, it’s about how many people are being saved.” Please see the article posted below:
I’m just a humble tele-prophet
“IT DOESN’T matter how many people come to services,” says Temitope Joshua, pastor of Nigeria’s Synagogue Church of All Nations. “It’s about how many people are being saved.” But it is the sheer size of his flock in Lagos that marks out Mr Joshua, better known as Prophet T B Joshua, who runs one of Africa’s mega-churches; 15,000 people attend his services every Sunday. A lot more watch his channel, Emmanuel TV.
The reverend is not alone. Hundreds of years after the first bible-punching missionaries came to Africa to persuade those who practised local religions to turn to a Christian God, conversion has become more of a home-grown affair. Charismatic African pastors, mimicking American evangelists, have gained fame for their forceful preaching, packing their pews and becoming local stars.
The trend is most marked in Nigeria, which hosts Africa’s largest Christian population, 80m-strong. Nigerian churches such as Faith Tabernacle and Christ’s Embassy are expanding into Ghana, Liberia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Most have publicity machines behind them, with jazzy posters advertising spiritual and other benefits. Many of the popular new pastors claim the gift of prophecy and teach a “gospel of prosperity”, which encourages their disciples to pay a tithe (10% of their income) to the church in return for even greater riches from God.
The pastors’ wealth raises eyebrows. Some have their own planes for jetting between the churches and the offices of their sprawling business conglomerates. In March David Oyedopo, reckoned to be Nigeria’s richest pastor by Forbes, a business magazine that puts his wealth at $150m, added an airline to his empire. Such money and fame bring political clout too. Presidents and parliamentarians pick their church with care, in the hope of a holy endorsement.
Some locals grumble that these men (few of these pastors are female) have strayed from the humility exemplified in Christ. When asked whether such criticism is fair, the Reverend Joshua, who sparks controversy by claiming the gift of prophecy, quotes passages from the Bible about the persecuted being blessed. Sources
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