TB Joshua: his past controversies

The Nigerian pastor who founded the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos was also surrounded by controversy.

People gather around a church.
TB Joshua was popular not only across Africa, but also in South America, where he held many religious campaigns. He often toured the UK as well. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN, June 7 (ANA) – While Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua, was one of Africa’s most influential televangelists, the Nigerian pastor who founded the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos was also surrounded by controversy.

According to Al Jazeera, the 57-year-old Joshua, who died on Saturday, was popular not only across Africa, but also in South America, where he held many religious campaigns. He often toured the UK as well.

“God has taken His servant Prophet TB Joshua home – as it should be by divine will,” the church posted on its Facebook page.

“His last moments on earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for,” read the post.

Joshua rose to prominence in the 1990s and was known for his claims to cure various diseases and perform miracles.

One of his most notable controversies took place in 2014 when one of his churches collapsed, killing 116 people, of whom 84 were South Africans who had travelled to Lagos to attend the service.

The BBC reported that a court in Lagos said, “The church was culpable because of criminal negligence.” However, Joshua never faced any charges.

A report attributed the disaster to structural failures and found that the building had not received planning approval from the authorities.

Critics questioned his claims and accused him of profiting from people in search of hope, and that some of the “miracles” he had brought about were performed by actors.

In 2004, the National Broadcasting Commission in the United States banned TV stations from screening programmes of pastors performing unverified miracles. However, televangelists were still able to broadcast in most of Africa through dedicated channels on free-to-air satellite.

Joshua was a tech-savvy pastor and became a social media influencer with millions of followers across his social channels.

In April this year, his YouTube channel with more than 1.8 million subscribers was shut down following allegations of hate speech and a complaint filed on videos showing Joshua conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.

Homosexuality remains illegal in Nigeria and homosexual acts can lead to a 14-year prison sentence.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

ANA NEWS WIRE Disclaimer:
The African News Agency (ANA) is a news wire service and therefore subscribes to the highest standards of journalism as it relates to accuracy, fairness and impartiality.
ANA strives to provide accurate, well sourced and reliable information across Text, Images and Video. Where errors do appear, ANA will seek to correct these timeously and transparently.
The ANA platform also contains news and information from third party sources. ANA has sought to procure reliable content from trusted news sources but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy and opinions provided by such sources on the ANA platform or linked sites.
The content provided for on the ANA News Wire platform, both through the ANA news operation and via its third party sources, are for the sole use of authorised subscribers and partners. Unauthorised access to and usage of ANA content will be subject to legal steps. ANA reserves its rights in this regard.
ANA makes every effort to ensure that the website is up and running smoothly at all times, however ANA does not take responsibility for, and will not be held liable for times when the website is temporarily unavailable due to technical issues that are beyond our control.