The popular but controversial Nigerian pastor TB Joshua dies at 57 | News about religion

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The televangelist, who founded a Christian megishurch in Lagos, died of an undisclosed cause, his church said.

Popular but controversial Nigerian evangelical preacher Temitope Balogun Joshua has died of an undisclosed cause, his church said on Facebook. He was 57 years old.

The preacher, popularly known as TB Joshua, founded The Synagogue Church of All Nations, a Christian megiesurch in Lagos.

The father of three was one of Africa’s most influential preachers with millions of television and social media followers. More than 15,000 people from Nigeria and abroad attend its Sunday services.

“God has taken his servant, the prophet TB Joshua, home … He spent his last moments on earth in the service of God,” the church wrote on its Facebook page on Sunday, without give more details.

One of Pastor Olalekan Ojo’s lawyers also confirmed his death.

“I confirm that the man of God, Pastor TB Joshua, died on Saturday after his nightly program,” Ojo told AFP news agency.

Ahmed Idris, of Al Jazeera, an informant from the Nigerian capital Abuja, said the preacher was one of the most respected pastors in Africa’s most populous country.

“It gained prominence in the 1990s at a time when there was an explosion of television evangelism in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. He was one of the most followed preachers in Nigeria and [across] Africa, ”Idris said.

He was also popular in South America, where he had celebrated many religious campaigns.

Controversies

TB Joshua was known for making predictions and for his claims to cure various diseases and make people prosper through miracles.

However, it was controversial, with critics questioning his claims and saying he benefited from people seeking hope.

According to Forbes, he had an estimated fortune of several million dollars.

Many African presidents, senior government officials, international football players, musicians and other well-known guests have revered his church.

In September 2014, the church guest house collapsed, killing more than 100 people, mostly foreigners who were in Nigeria to attend their services.

Although authorities say the building collapsed due to structural defects, TB Joshua insisted the building was blown up by a small plane that he said flew over it shortly before it went down.

In April, the pastor’s YouTube channel, which has more than 1.8 million subscribers and 600 million views, was shut down for allegations of hate speech against LGBTQ people.

In one of his videos, seen more than 1.5 million times, it is seen that a woman is violently beaten to “cure” her of her sexuality.

Homosexuality is illegal in Africa’s most populous country and “homosexual acts” can lead to a 14-year prison sentence.

Facebook had also removed several videos from Joshua’s page, which has more than 5.7 million followers, for his anti-LGBTQ statements.





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