ABUJA – The world-famous Nigerian Christian preacher Prophet T.B. Joshua passed away Saturday only a few days away from his 58th birthday on June 12.
The news was public in an official statement issued on Sunday morning by The Synagogue Church Of All Nations — the place of worship founded by Temitope Balogun Joshua himself.
The “Man of God” as his millions of followers — which include presidents and politicians, reverently referred to their beloved spiritual leader of “miracles” and “resurrections” often performed on the online digital media of the church, Emmanuel TV.
There was no indication that the Christian preacher — who had spoken just the day before during the Emmanuel TV Partners Meeting: “Time for everything – time to come here for prayer and time to return home after the service,” was ill and no exact cause of death has been established.
Although the religious leader boasted an avid following, Prophet T.B. Joshua also had his share of critics who dismissed him as a charlatan and fraudster.
After a complaint from the British association OpenDemocracy, denouncing hateful and homophobic speech, the channel — which had more than 1.8 million subscribers and 600 million views, was shut down.
In one video, a woman is severely beaten to help her get out the
Giant social network Facebook also removed several videos from the page officially affiliated with the church and the prophet for violating the company’s policy prohibiting “attacks on people based on their sexual orientation or gender”.
The page which has 5.6 million subscribers — like the now shut down YouTube channel, contained videos of beatings of people from the LGBTQIA community to supposedly help exorcise the “demon of homosexuality” inside them.
YouTube’s decision to shut down the Emmanuel TV channel on their platform caused digital outrage among those of shared views on homosexuality amongst the prophet’s following.
But still, there were many others within Nigeria and in the international community who condemned the — both beloved and controversial, prophet’s position on the matter as a human rights issue.
Nevertheless, perceived homophobia aside, there are many who believe in prophet TB Joshua’s “miracles” and spiritual leadership and many more who view his passing as a huge loss to the Nigerian Christian community.