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BBC’s detailed investigation exposes sins of TB Joshua and Synagogue Church

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BBC's detailed investigation exposes sins of TB Joshua and Synagogue Church
• Late TB Joshua
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Evidence of widespread abuse and torture by the founder of one of the world’s biggest Christian evangelical churches has been uncovered by the BBC.

Dozens of ex-Synagogue Church of all Nations members – five British – allege atrocities, including rape and forced abortions, by Nigeria’s late TB Joshua.

The allegations of abuse in a secretive Lagos compound span almost 20 years.

The Synagogue Church of All Nations did not respond to the allegations but said previous claims have been unfounded.

TB Joshua, who died in 2021, was a charismatic and hugely successful preacher and televangelist who had an immense global following.

The BBC’s findings over a two-year investigation include:

  • Dozens of eyewitness accounts of physical violence or torture carried out by Joshua, including instances of child abuse and people being whipped and chained
  • Numerous women who say they were sexually assaulted by Joshua, with a number claiming they were repeatedly raped for years inside the compound
  • Multiple allegations of forced abortions inside the church following the alleged rapes by Joshua, including one woman who says she had five terminations
  • Multiple first-hand accounts detailing how Joshua faked his “miracle healings”, which were broadcast to millions of people around the world

One of the victims, a British woman, called Rae, was 21 years old when she abandoned her degree at Brighton University in 2002 and was recruited into the church. She spent the next 12 years as one of Joshua’s so-called “disciples” inside his maze-like concrete compound in Lagos.

“We all thought we were in heaven, but we were in hell, and in hell terrible things happen,” she told the BBC.

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Rae says she was sexually assaulted by Joshua and subjected to a form of solitary confinement for two years. The abuse was so severe, she says she attempted suicide multiple times inside the compound.

The Synagogue Church of All Nations [Scoan] has a global following, operating a Christian TV channel called Emmanuel TV and social media networks with millions of viewers. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, tens of thousands of pilgrims from Europe, the Americas, South East Asia and Africa travelled to the church in Nigeria to witness Joshua performing “healing miracles”. At least 150 visitors lived with him as disciples inside his compound in Lagos, sometimes for decades.

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More than 25 former “disciples” spoke to the BBC – from the UK, Nigeria, US, South Africa, Ghana, Namibia and Germany – giving powerful corroborating testimony about their experiences within the church, with the most recent experiences in 2019. Many victims were in their teens when they first joined. In some of the British cases, their transport to Lagos was paid for by Joshua, in co-ordination with other UK churches.

Rae and multiple other interviewees compared their experiences to being in a cult.

Jessica Kaimu, from Namibia, says her ordeal lasted more than five years. She says she was 17 when Joshua first raped her, and that subsequent instances of rape by TB Joshua led to her having five forced abortions while there.

“These were backdoor type… medical treatments that we were going through… it could have killed us,” she told the BBC.

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Other interviewees say they were stripped and beaten with electrical cables and horse whips, and routinely denied sleep.

On his death in June 2021, TB Joshua was hailed as one of the most influential pastors in African history. Rising from poverty, he built an evangelical empire that counted dozens of political leaders, celebrities and international footballers among his associates.

He did, however, attract some controversy during his lifetime when a guesthouse for church pilgrims collapsed in 2014, killing at least 116 people.

The BBC’s investigation, which was carried out with international media platform Open Democracy, is the first time multiple former church insiders have come forward to speak on the record. They say they’ve spent years trying to raise the alarm, but have effectively been silenced.

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A number of our witnesses in Nigeria claim they were physically attacked, and in one case shot at, after previously speaking out against the abuse and posting videos containing allegations on YouTube.

A BBC crew that attempted to record footage of the church’s Lagos compound from a public street in March 2022 was also fired at by the church’s security, and was detained for a number of hours.

The BBC contacted Scoan with the allegations in our investigation. It did not respond to them, but denied previous claims against TB Joshua.

“Making unfounded allegations against Prophet TB Joshua is not a new occurrence… None of the allegations was ever substantiated,” it wrote.

Four of the British citizens who spoke to the BBC say they reported the abuse to the UK authorities after escaping the church. They say no further action was taken.

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In addition, a British man and his wife emailed eyewitness accounts of their ordeal and video evidence – including recordings of being held at gunpoint by men describing themselves as police who are also members of Scoan – to the British High Commission in Nigeria in March 2010 after fleeing the church. In his email, the man said his wife had been repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped by Joshua. He warned the commission that other British nationals were still inside the compound facing atrocities.

He also says no action was taken.

The UK Foreign Office did not respond to these claims, but told the BBC that it takes all reports of crime, including sexual assault and violence against British nationals overseas, very seriously.

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Scoan continues to thrive today, under the leadership of Joshua’s widow, Evelyn. In July 2023, she led a tour of Spain.

Anneka, who left Derby in the UK to join Scoan at the age of 17, told the BBC she believes there are many other victims who have yet to speak out. She hopes further steps will be taken to uncover Joshua’s actions.

“I believe the Synagogue Church of All Nations needs a thorough investigation into why this man was able to function for so long the way he did,” she said.

BBC

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Faith

70 per cent of pastors in Nigeria are poor — Cleric

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70 per cent of pastors in Nigeria are poor — Cleric
 •Pastor Gideon Odoma
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In a striking revelation, Nigerian preacher Gideon Odoma has claimed that at least 70% of pastors in Nigeria live in poverty.

He highlighted that thousands of pastors receive monthly salaries of less than N60,000, challenging the widespread belief that pastoring is a lucrative profession in the country.

Odoma shared his observations on his official X page, emphasising that the public’s perception is skewed by the visibility of prominent Pentecostal pastors and denominations.

He expressed his frustration with this misconception, pointing out that the financial struggles of most pastors go unnoticed.

“At least, 70% of pastors in Nigeria are poor. And that’s me being conservative,” Odoma wrote.

He continued, “Many people think that the popular Pentecostal MoGs (Men of God) and denominations are representative of reality. No. They are not. Do you know how much pastors of QIC, EYN, ECWA, NKST, UEC, COCIN, etc., are paid monthly? You won’t believe it if I told you.”

“There are thousands, you heard right, thousands of pastors who are paid less than 60,000 Naira monthly.

“Sometimes, when a pastor is posted to a new station, the station renegotiates his salary downwards, like: “Sir, we know you’re on 60k, based on the church’s payment schedule, but our assembly is struggling financially, so what we can afford is 35k monthly.”

“I know a case where a pastor refused the reduced offer, and he was replaced by a more ‘understanding’ pastor, while he was told to go home, till there was a church open and willing to pay him his due rate. He ended up waiting a full year before he was posted again. Man had to return to his village for a year.

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“I happen to know something about how church denominations, the majority of them, operate. Most protestant churches in Nigeria are not Pentecostal, and even Pentecostalism (which has now become popular) does not pay huge salaries. Or tell, on average, what is the monthly salary of a senior Pastor in a Pentecostal church in Nigeria?

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“I am tired of hearing that “pastoring is a lucrative business in Nigeria.” Even as a generalization, it is not true, because the overwhelming majority of our pastors are poor.

“I could say more, but for now, I won’t… my phone battery is low, because a town hall different…”

SEE THE POST BELOW:

At least, 70% of pastors in Nigeria are poor. And, that’s me being conservative.

Many people think that the popular Pentecostal MoGs and denominations are representative of reality. No. They are not. Do you know how much pastors of QIC, EYN, ECWA, NKST, UEC, COCIN, etc, are paid…

—    Gideon Odoma (@gideonodoma) June 4, 2024

(Nigerian Tribune)

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Pastor Jerry Eze, NSPPD convener gifts his musicians and singers 6 brand new cars (VIDEO)

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Pastor Jerry Eze, the founder of Streams of Joy International Ministry and convener of NSPPD movement, has brought tears of joy to the eyes of some of his devoted church members.

The clergyman has sparked reactions online after gifting his singers 6 cars with many commending the gesture.

In a clip which surfaced online, six members of his worship team in the NSPPD movement were rewarded with new cars.

The cars were parked under a tree and their documents neatly kept in brown envelopes and placed on each of the cars.

The people who were gifted the automobile were so happy that they showed their appreciation.

The singers were seen shedding tears of joy after they were handed the keys to the brnad new cars in the church’s compound.

The action of Pastor Jerry Eze has attracted diverse reactions from social media users and Christians from different places.

Watch Video below:

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I remain Dunamis member – Vera Anyim speaks after meeting Pastors Paul, Becky Enenche

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I remain Dunamis member – Vera Anyim speaks after meeting Pastors Paul, Becky Enenche
Pastor Becky Enenche, Ms Veronica Anyim and Pastor Dr Paul Enenche
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Veronica Anyim, the lady accused of lying after testifying about being a “BSc graduate of law” from the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN on Monday, met the Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Center, Dr Paul Enenche and his wife, Becky Enenche.

Anyim, who claimed during a Sunday live service that she graduated from NOUN after ten years of studying Law, was accused by Pastor Enenche of lying.

A video clip making the rounds on social media revealed how the senior pastor interrupted her testimony, saying she lied by claiming she had a BSc in law.

The Internet has been flooded with reactions from concerned Nigerians who asked the pastor to tender apology to Vera.

The church has since apologized, saying the development was not intentional.

Shortly after the apology emerged, Vera took to her Facebook page to share photos of herself, Pastor Enenche and his wife.

Vera said she has no grudges against the pastor and the church, stressing that she remains committed to “serving God as a member of Dunamis church”.

The post reads, “I want to inform the whole world that I just had a warm meeting with my spiritual father and mother dr Paul Enenche and dr Becky Enenche.

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“I don’t have any grudge against the church or them I remain committed to serving God as a member of Dunamis church.

“I am thankful for the concern of the public. I have put the situation at my back and I have moved forward and I want everybody to do the same. Peace.”

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SEE ALSO:  EFCC warns of planned protest against commission
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