Christians from as far afield as China have trudged in their numbers to Nigeria in search of a ‘miracle’ through the ministry of Pastor T.B. Joshua.
Despite recent reports highlighting the suppression of Christianity in Communist China, it has not deterred large groups of Chinese citizens embarking on religious tourism to Joshua’s popular Lagos-based church named The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN).
On Sunday 25thAugust 2019, in Joshua’s church service broadcast on Emmanuel TV – YouTube’s most watched Christian ministry network with over 500,000,000 individual views – more than 150 Asian worshippers can be seen in the midst of the multicultural crowd.
A Chinese citizen named Shou Qiang shared a public testimony that he was ‘delivered’ from a ‘suicidal spirit’ following Joshua’s prophecy and prayers.
Accompanied by his wife and young daughter, Qiang admitted he had almost committed suicide on three occasions prior to his visit to Nigeria but that after his ‘miracle’, he no longer nursed such ‘demonic’ tendencies.
“I feel very free and calm in my heart; I am totally delivered,”he divulged in his ‘testimony’ subsequently uploaded to YouTube, adding that he now intends to ‘share the good news’ with his fellow Chinese citizens.
Recent months have seen a spike in Chinese visitors to Nigeria for the purpose of pilgrimage to Joshua’s church, with groups equally arriving from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Korea and Singapore.
Tourism experts estimate religious tourism contributes over 3% of Nigeria’s GDP, and official figures indicate visitors to The SCOAN account for 60% of foreigners entering the nation.
According to Wikipedia, the two nations have a rich history of bilateral relations and China is considered one of Nigeria’s most important trading and export partners.
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist