T.B. Joshua Announces Plan to Move to Israel

From the Lusaka Times:

…Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua [has] declared his intentions to leave Nigeria and relocate his ministry to the nation of Israel.

Joshua disclosed that he had just returned from the ‘Holy Land’ after holding meetings with three prominent Israeli mayors of Jerusalem, Tiberias and the Jordan Valley.

According to the cleric, they offered both land and facilities in an area around the biblical site of the Sea of Galilee for the Nigerian Pastor to organise meetings for international pilgrims.

…According to the cleric, the invitation to Israel came due to the growing popularity of Joshua’s television channel Emmanuel TV, which is especially known on YouTube.

…Statistics from the Nigerian Immigration Services revealed that six out of every ten travelers to Nigeria go to The SCOAN [Joshua’s church – the The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations], with countless local businesses and hotels in the area relying on the church activities for their sustenance.

The report comes with photos of Joshua shaking hands with Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat and with Idan Grinbaum, billed as “Jordan Valley mayor”  – the latter is actually head of the Emek HaYarden Regional Council, which covers western Galilee and the northern Jordan Valley (the Council is one of two entities that is also known as the “Jordan Valley Regional Council”; the other administers an area in the West Bank). Nigerian pilgrimage is big business, and carriers and handlers compete for contracts with the country’s Christian Pilgrim Commission.

Forbes has described Joshua as one of the “The Five Richest Pastors In Nigeria“, and his followers include politicians in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. However, despite some endorsements from other pastors (such as the late neo-Pentecostal evangelist Bill Subritzky), he is a highly controversial figure who has been rejected by many of his peers for allegedly “mix[ing] Christianity with occult practices”. He also makes extravagant claims to supernatural predictive powers, which he purports to prove by releasing heavily edited videos of old sermons after disasters and such; and in November, there was mockery after he attempted to explain away a prophecy that Hilary Clinton would win the US election.

For some reason, though, God apparently failed to warn Joshua about the state of a guesthouse owned by his church – the building collapsed in 2014, killing dozens. Joshua tried to explain away the negligent construction by blaming a “strange aircraft” nearby.