Devotees Stand Firm in Allegiance to T.B. Joshua Despite Accusations

Devotees Stand Firm in Allegiance to T.B. Joshua Despite Accusations

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In the wake of a three-part documentary released by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Monday, January 8, where former disciples accused the late founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, of various forms of abuse and misconduct, worshippers appear unwavering in their loyalty.

The accusations ranged from physical abuse, manipulation, and fake miracles to allegations of rape and forced abortions orchestrated by the deceased prophet. Despite the damning revelations from former disciples hailing from different countries, including South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Nigeria, followers of T.B. Joshua seem undeterred.

Contrary to the social media reactions generated by the documentary, the Ikotun-Egbe area of Lagos State, where the SCOAN is located, was bustling with commercial activities when Saturday PUNCH visited. The ambiance indicated that locals were oblivious to the controversies surrounding the late prophet, even three years after his death.

The shops opposite the church operated normally, selling various items like clothes and drinks. People went about their businesses without appearing concerned about the accusations against T.B. Joshua. For residents of the area, life continued as usual.

The church premises displayed large photos of the late prophet and his wife along T.B. Joshua Street. While the church itself remained closed except for Sunday services, adherents of the late prophet’s doctrine were permitted to pray on the church street.

Worshippers were seen praying in front of large banners featuring the faces of the deceased prophet and his wife. Church workers were observed going in and out of the premises.

The church has two categories of workers: disciples who worked directly with the late prophet and lived on the church premises, and other employees assigned to various departments like sanitation, medical, and food services. A former worker mentioned a weekly workers’ service held every Tuesday.

In 2021, the church disclosed that it received over 50,000 visitors weekly during the once-a-week Sunday service. Nigeria Immigration Service data indicated that six out of every 10 foreign travelers coming to Nigeria were SCOAN-bound.

While the documentary allegations had generated little patronage, the President of Pilgrims Hostels Association of Nigeria, Ikotun, Adedayo Adekanbi, expressed the belief that the accusations would attract curious individuals and worshippers to the area.

Despite the negative report, business owners in the vicinity saw the allegations as “good business” and expected a surge in visitors. A receptionist at a local hotel described such news as an opportunity for increased business.

Worshippers in the area appeared unfazed by the allegations. A resident, Mrs. Folasade, proudly displayed her loyalty to T.B. Joshua, showcasing an identity card bearing the late prophet’s face. She emphasized that nothing would change her devotion to the church.

Another worshipper, Tope, dismissed the former disciples’ accusations as jealousy, asserting her continued support for T.B. Joshua. She highlighted the positive impact the late prophet had on foreigners, citing schools built for them and the training of their children.

Some worshippers acknowledged T.B. Joshua’s anger issues but stood firm in their allegiance, emphasizing the positive impact the late prophet had on their lives. A former worker shared her personal experience of receiving financial assistance for education from the late prophet.

Despite media reports stating that the individuals in the BBC documentary were not known to the church, the Public Affairs Director of SCOAN, Dare Adejumo, mentioned that the church had not officially commented on the matter and was still deliberating whether to respond.

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