Miracles, expensive cars, exorcisms and bodyguards: religion is big business in Nigeria. Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Matt Haan travel to Lagos to reveal the extraordinary world of the millionaire preachers. Watch the 23 mins video for shocking revelation.
Watch the video or you may read the video transcripts below.
By promoting the dream of escaping poverty, they have turned their churches into corporations, which are changing the face of Christianity.
Every Sunday millions of Nigerians crowd into thousands of competing churches. The team visits one church in Lagos run by Dr Sign Fireman, an up-and-coming preacher who is attempting to break into the big time.
They find 2000 people at an event billed as the Burial of Satan. After a rock star entrance, Dr Fireman begins his service by exorcising the demons in his congregation.
Many Nigerian Pentecostal Christians believe that demons are the root cause of their problems in life and come to people like Dr Fireman to get rid of them. Over 20 men and women, including some who worked for Dr Fireman, have the evil spirits inside them expelled.
Sick members of the congregation come forward for miracle healing. Dr Fireman claims to have God-given powers that can change people's lives, from raising people from the dead to curing earache. One man tells the crowd he is crippled and blind. Dr Fireman then channels his powers to help the man walk and see again. Yet, earlier the team has seen the man walking unaided.
At the close of the event the crowd swarms forward and throws money at Dr Fireman's feet. There is so much cash it has to be collected in dustbins. Rhodes talks to one worshipper who says that those who give money are repaid by God with good fortune.
Some Nigerian Pentecostal Christians believe giving 10 per cent of their income will bring God's blessing into their lives, their families and their businesses. With the service over, Dr Fireman leaves in his yellow Hummer 4x4.
Through the marketing of his talents, Dr Fireman has expanded his Perfect Christianity Ministry to 40 branches. Key to this growth is the emphasis on prosperity preaching: teaching that prosperity is a sign of spiritual blessing. The idea is that to become rich, you should give money to the church.
Pentecostal and independent churches in Nigeria tap into the Nigerian dream: the aspiration of having and being seen to have cars, houses, money and power. To get more people to join his church, Dr Fireman believes portraying the right image is essential and shows the trappings of wealth his church has brought him. He travels everywhere with his bodyguards in one of his three yellow luxury cars with a combined worth of more than £150,000.
Dr Fireman's business model is not a new one. Most of the richest pastors in Nigeria use similar methods of expansion. The team meets Pastor Chris Okotie, the fifth richest pastor in the country, who had hits in the 80s with records such as Secret Love and Show Me Your Backside.
His church, House of God, attracts Nigerian film stars, celebrities and musicians. Pastor Okotie has used his power base to run for the last three presidential elections, believing the principles of prosperity preaching will provide a better future for Nigeria.
Local journalist Simon Ateba says it's almost impossible to establish their true wealth. Simon takes the team to the headquarters of Christ Embassy. He claims that two years ago when he tried to take photographs of the building, security guards dragged him inside and beat him until he fainted. Soon after he tells this story, security guards drag Rhodes into the building by his belt. He escapes unscathed.
The team visits Dr Fireman. He's busy in a music studio recording a new song as he expands his business into the music industry. Rhodes asks him how he can square his wealth and celebrity status with the teachings and life of Jesus.
Dr Fireman says that God wants him to be rich and denies that Jesus had a humble life. 'Jesus was rich and had an accountant who followed him around,' he tells Rhodes.
Headlines Newsview all
International security operatives are about to be petitioned by the EFCC to help repatriate former public holders with corruption cases who are currently 'hiding' abroad. These ... Full story
Former PDP chieftain, Tope Aluko seems unstoppable in exposing the alleged ills of controversial Ekiti governor, Ayo Fayose as he gives more insights. Former Secretary of ... Full story
The odds seems to be against Senator Bukola Saraki as there is an ongoing plot to eject him from office by opposing groups. Indications emerged at ... Full story
Rate this article
- Married Woman Dies After Getting HIV/AIDS From Sexual Affair With Senator Hope Uzodinma
- Okwukwe Nwoko, Queen Mother Of Delta State Palace Evicted Over Act Of Adultery In The Palace
- New P enis Enlargement Implant Invented - Will Men Go For It Or Are Most Men Satisfied With What They Have?
On Saturday, February 6, media personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu got married to Cynthia Obianodo the beautiful daughter of billionaire transporter Vincent Obianodo, CEO of Young Shall ... Full story
From A Bread Seller To A Top Model - Olajumoke's Cinderella Moment Featured On The Cover Of ThisDay Style
The moral of this story is that when God remembers to bless you, no matter where you are, He will surely locate you. Read this ... Full story
Nigerian singer, Praiz is definitely on the right track for global recognition as U.S rapper, Obie Trice has announced an international collaboration with the singer. From ... Full story
No matter what happens in life or the challenges one goes through, the religious sector is always the last option where one decides to run ...
After coincidentally walking into Ty Bello’s Photo-shoot, once a bread seller and mother of two, Olajumoke Orisaguna, has not just made the front cover of ...
Since the crash of the marriage of actress Toyin Aimakhu's , she has been in the media for one controversial reason or the other.The latest ...
Nigeria Music Artist Sheyi Shay stuns in this outfit."Off to church with Che Guevara, a revolutionary... where r you?? #churchftboj #seyiorshay #porches #newhair by @lolavita ...
The Kiss, Brides 3 Outfits, Lovely Cake And More About Ebuka Obi-Uchendu's Exquisite Wedding (Photos)
It was indeed a star-studded exquisite wedding as ?Cynthia & Ebuka Obi-Uchendu's finally walked down the aisle, yesterday February 6, 2016 in Abuja. There are some ...
Chidinma Ekile, famously known as Miss Kedike, is one of the hottest and most sought after spinsters in the Nigeria music industry.The Capital Hill singer ...
Toke Makinwa, Dolapo Oni, Lala Akindoju, Hazel Chiejina,Debola Williams, Chidinma Ekile and a host of other ladies looked stunning at the Ebuka- Obi Uchendu's Wedding ...