Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua has released a statement via social network, ‘Facebook’, instructing those co-ordinating the arrangement of visits to his popular church in Lagos, Nigeria, to refund the $100 he learned they had been collecting from people as a registration fee.
Joshua said he was concerned upon learning from emails and online reports that those arranging groups to visit The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) were taking $100 as a registration fee for those desirous of visiting his famous sanctuary, stating that the organisation of such was charitable in nature and not a money-making venture. “I have received many emails and newspaper reports on the internet complaining of registration fees of $100. What then makes us an evangelist? When people go to concerts, they also register with $100,” the statement, which was posted to over 500,000 fans of ‘TB Joshua Ministries’, read.
He maintained that co-ordinating visits to The SCOAN was evangelical and not finance-orientated, warning those involved that collecting undue money from vulnerable people was tantamount to partaking in their troubles. “If we are evangelists, co-ordinating for God’s sake, all our concerns, aspirations and heart desires must be subjected to the Gospel through works of charity by helping the sick, distressed and unsaved instead of collecting registration fees of $100 from them before giving succour, I mean, attending to them. This cannot be justified; it amounts to taking a portion of their situation.”
The popular cleric insisted that money-making should not be the focus or drive of such co-ordinators but rather care for the sick and distressed in society. “If we are focused on making money only, a large slice of life will pass us by. We should spend less on ourselves and more on others,” he exhorted, reminding them of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40-45. “Don’t forget your promise when you were called to be co-ordinators. Your promise, if I may remind you, was to give rest to the sick, distressed and unsaved,” he wrote.
The statement ended with Joshua’s insistence that any money collected for registration should be immediately returned. “Those who have already paid $100 for the registration should be refunded, for God’s sake. I am impressed by the prompt action of the co-ordinators in Tanzania and Zimbabwe who have been refunding the $100 paid by each person as a registration fee. I believe all others will act likewise.” Citing Matthew 10:41, he concluded, “He who honours a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward.”
The SCOAN is known to be one of Nigeria’s major tourist attractions, with hundreds of foreign visitors flocking to the cathedral on a weekly basis in search of the miraculous. The ministry is especially popular within Africa, with scores of visitors from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and a host of other African countries making regular pilgrimages to The SCOAN in Lagos. T.B. Joshua is also renowned for his philanthropy, charitable giving to the less-privileged forming an integral part of his church services broadcast on Emmanuel TV.
SOURCE: TB Joshua Ministries on Facebook
Ihechukwu Njoku – freelance Nigerian journalist currently in London, UK
NB - Contrary to some insinuations, I am not working for or professionally affiliated with The SCOAN. However, I have visited his church, was deeply impressed and have taken it as a responsibility to broadcast the happenings at The SCOAN to correct the erroneous impressions in the minds of many about this church based on past hearsay and malicious rumours.