Prominent Nigerian Pastor TB Joshua has reacted to the announcement from the Nigerian Government regarding the reopening of churches, insisting he will only open The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) when he “hears from God” to do so.
Joshua, whose church is one of Nigeria’s major tourist attractions, said he received a “revelation” from God about the church’s initial closure.
In a video posted to YouTube, the cleric can be heard forewarning of The SCOAN’s closure on three occasions – in February 2019, April 2019 and January 2020 – long before the coronavirus outbreak resulted in a ban on public gatherings.
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“The thing God is still telling me – you will just get here one day and learn that there is no church,” he had stated during a regular Sunday service, adding that congregants would only view him on Emmanuel TV, the popular Christian channel.
“Viewers, that same God we are waiting to hear from on when to reopen – when things will go back to normal – as usual,” Joshua said in a statement released to his official social media channels.
“God’s time is the best. We are waiting at His feet for that time. We are tarrying for the Holy Spirit’s instruction,” he continued, calling on his followers to “pray without ceasing”.
The cleric added he would continue his usual broadcasts on Emmanuel TV “until we hear from God when to reopen.”
“It is God’s work, not our work,” he added. “Here, our thanks go to the authorities for understanding. Jesus is Lord!”
On Monday 1st June 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari had announced the easing of lockdown restrictions in Nigeria, including the reopening of churches and mosques in line with “state government protocols”.