Several members of the Christ Embassy Church in South Africa have accused its founder and Senior Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of faking miracles on live TV.
According to an inside source within the South-African chapter of the church, Pastor Chris hires people who pretend to be sick and disabled and then proceed to heal them during his live television shows and public prayer meetings in what would seem like a classic conman move only seen in Nollywood movies.
According to one of the supposed people healed on live TV who pleaded for anonymity;
“I was offered R10 000 to rehearse and pretend to be in a wheelchair three weeks before the all-night prayer called Night of Bliss at the Johannesburg Stadium.
The pastor told me that they were looking for people to work for the church. He said that I was going to sit in a wheelchair and be wheeled around while pretending to be physically ill. I would then stand up and walk as soon as Pastor Chris stopped praying for me.
Even children who are healthy are whisked around in wheelchairs. Some use crutches. Everyone is allocated a person who tells the congregation about your background, your specific illness and suffering.
The pastor then raises his hands and places them maybe on your legs if you cannot walk, and a few seconds later you get up and walk around the room.
I just told myself that using the word of God to lie to desperate people is immoral, so I refused to take up their offer.”
While sub-Saharan African countries are known for their religious zealousness, Nigeria and South-Africa are the most religious countries in the World with many adherents of the two Abrahamic religions of Christianity and Islam embarking on religious tourism to ‘holy’ sites around the world each year.
The religious space in South-Africa has grown tremendously around ‘miracle working’ pastors and general overseers who perform miracles at public meetings and live church services to the admiration and awe of the congregation.
These pastors wield maximum power and influence on their members who proceed to do their bidding no matter how bizarre it sounds; including going to church without underwear and eating grass for financial prosperity.
Pastor Chris has a rather large almost ‘cult-like’ following around the world with his signature jerry curled sleek hair and his smooth preaching with a flawless American Accent.
Pastor Chris was also involved in a messy divorce scandal with wife who was also a senior pastor with the church. Pastor Anita accused the smooth preacher of the ‘word’ of having extra marital affairs with several church members.