Late megachurch pastor TB Joshua raped, abused young women for nearly 20 years: reportBlog
More than two years after his death, T.B. Joshua, one of Nigeria's most controversial megachurch preachers and televangelists, has been accused of secretly abusing and raping young women on three continents several times a week for nearly two decades.
Dozens of survivors revealed in a BBC investigation that contrary to the image of a godly prophet he hawked to millions of believers internationally, Joshua rained "Hell" upon his victims inside his 12-story living compound that adjoins his Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria.
"We all thought we were in Heaven, but we were in Hell," an English woman and survivor identified as Rae told the BBC about the 12 years she spent in Joshua's compound. "And in Hell, terrible things happen."
Multiple women told the news network that Joshua, who was a friend of sports stars, politicians and celebrities around the world, sexually assaulted them numerous times behind closed doors.
When some of them got pregnant, they alleged they were forced to have abortions.
"This story is like a horror story. It's like something you watch in fiction, but it's true," Rae said.
The Synagogue Church of All Nations didn't respond to the allegations but has maintained that previous claims against Joshua were unfounded, BBC notes.
In a two-year investigation of Joshua in collaboration with international media platform openDemocracy, 15 BBC journalists reportedly researched and interviewed more than 25 eyewitnesses and alleged victims spanning the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ghana, the United States, South Africa and Germany. And they all recounted what life was like in Joshua's compound as recently as 2019.
Joshua was well-known around the world because of his claims of healing people from things like cancer, HIV/AIDS, blindness and chronic migraines.
"We'd never … seen anything like that before," Solomon Ashoms, a journalist who covers African religion, told the BBC. "The mysteries that he had, the secrets that he carried, [were] what people followed."
Rae, who was raised as a conservative Christian, says she was gay but didn't want to be. After she was introduced to Joshua's ministry by a South African acquaintance, she traveled to Lagos to get her deliverance.
"I was gay, and I didn't want to be," she told the BBC. "I thought: 'Well, maybe this is the answer to my problems. Maybe this man can straighten me out. Like if he prays for me, I won't be gay anymore.'"
When she got to Lagos and witnessed what she thought were miracles for herself at the age of 21, she was swept up in the religious frenzy.
"I had a really involuntary reaction. I just broke down in floods of tears," Rae recalled.
Agomoh Paul, a man who was once Joshua's No. 2 in the church for 10 years before he left, said the miracles were just part of a well-planned production.
"That guy [was] a genius," Paul said. "Everything … [he did was] planned out."
He said many of the people who were "cured" had frequently been paid to act or exaggerate their symptoms before their "healing." In other cases, individuals were unknowingly drugged while they were at the church or given medicine to improve their conditions and then encouraged to testify to miraculous recoveries.
Rae and others recalled being sexually assaulted or raped by Joshua. On many occasions, the women were abused, sometimes as much as two to four times a week, while they lived on Joshua's compound.
One woman, identified as Victoria, said she was a recruiter charged with picking young women from the congregation for Joshua. Another woman, identified as Bisola, said she was tasked with finding virgins.
"TB Joshua asked me to recruit virgins for him," she said. "So that he could bring them into the disciple-fold and disvirgin them."
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Source: The Christian Post