“Prophet” and “healer” TB Joshua is back in the news. While his world seems to be crashing down around him, he skirts trouble.
South Africans have been flocking to The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, in Lagos, for many years, hoping for miracle cures from its pastor, the self-styled faith healer and prophet TB Joshua, for anything from smoking and drinking to Aids and cancer.
However, in one case, Wium Basson, who was in late stages of cancer, spent almost two weeks at The Synagogue but Joshua did NOT volunteer to heal him.
This episode added to the doubts of many about Joshua’s sincerity, suggesting he had avoided Basson because he knew he was incurable and did not want to have such a high-profile failure on his record.
But it did not seem to deter countless more South Africans from making the pilgrimage to Lagos.
Even at the time of Basson’s visit, Joshua’s aides were claiming he had cured more than 10 000 HIV-positive people since the centre was established.
Jimmy Babatunde, who said he had been healed of HIV at the church, showed our correspondent an HIV-positive report from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for a test done before he visited Joshua and a negative test result from the same hospital after he was “healed”.
But, as Basson’s case illustrated, part of Joshua’s miracle cure method seems to be to ignore failure and calamity as these are inconsistent with his reputation.
Basson died soon after.
Today Joshua faces new scrutiny as one of his buildings collapsed, killing an estimated 70 people.
Officials claim that church workers are obstructing rescue efforts after a multi-story guesthouse and shopping area at T.B. Joshua’s Synagogue collapsed.
While Nigerian government officials said shoddy construction was a possible cause, Joshua suggested Islamic extremists who are active in Nigeria were responsible. He sought to rally the faithful with a Facebook message about resilience.
“Hard times may test me, they cannot destroy me,” the message read.
To bolster allegations of an attack on the building that collapsed, Joshua’s television station, Emmanuel TV, showed security camera video of what it says was a “strange aircraft” flying low over the building four times before the structure plunges into the ground in seconds, startling pedestrians in the foreground.
He claims it may have been an attempt on his own life. BBC News – TB Joshua Lagos church collapse: Many South Africans dead.
Families of victims think he is trying to protect his reputation. But that seems to be tarnishing by the minute. However, from previous history of “faith healers”, they tend to be unsinkable rubber ducks and keeping popping back up to the surface no matter what befalls them.
Here is a BBC profile on one of Africa’s most famous televangelist.
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