Studies suggest there are about 390 million Christians in Africa and further estimates that by 2025 the Christian population will increase to 600m. With this huge following, many believers of the Christian faith have fallen victim to the exploitation of certain preachers who love money more than the work, which is to lead the flock on a path of redemption. The current trend of extorting money from the Christian community has been quite alarming. Some preachers are becoming multi-millionaires by exploiting worshippers. They take from the congregation large sums of money assuring them that God will repay them in doubles. Due to this cynical exploitation, churches are no longer healing places for people who seek redemption and salvation.
Rather, they have become country clubs of social networks for showing off material wealth and matchmaking, as well as, a market for selling miracles at outrageous prices. Instead of the shepherd feeding and caring for the hungry flock, today’s pastors who are tagged as “pastorprenuers” are being fed by the hungry flock so they can live in luxury and expand their business agenda. A fraction of pastors have also become healers with no medical experience. They sell to the congregation, bottles of anointing oil, potions, and lotions, paraphernalia amongst others with the claim they contain special healing powers that can cure any disease, and protect them from witchcraft and demonic spirits.
At the moment, an invisible enemy, the Coronavirus is devouring the human population, and scientists are struggling to find an antidote to contain the pandemic. It also looks like our renowned religious and prophetic healers are powerless against the invisible enemy too. So, has the outbreak of COVID-19 exposed them or maybe the virus is immune to their healing powers? That’s a question only they can answer. Even in these challenging times, where institutions are donating food and other supplies to the vulnerable and needy, and people have been laid off or temporarily unemployed at home due to the contagion, certain churches are keen on collecting tithes and offertory via electronic means.