Meet TB Joshua, a Nigerian minister, faith-healer, and self-declared prophet who is widely believed to be Africa's most popular televangelist. He preaches the so-called "prosperity gospel" to his hundreds of thousands of followers in branch churches across Africa, in YouTube videos, and through Facebook page, which has over 880,000 fans.
He claims that he can cure people who are HIV-positive through the power of prayer (watch) and encourages them to stop taking their medication. At a service last May, four people were killed in Ghana in a stampede as fervent believers frantically rushed to get free "holy water" from him. (Joshua usually charges $39.36 for it.)
Blogger Joe Jervis also notes that Joshua claims he can predict the outcomes of major soccer matches and alleges that he foresaw the Boston marathon bombings. In 2012, thousands of Joshua's faithful followers apparently abandoned Facebook after rumors circulated of a prophesy that demons were using the social networking site to infest people; Joshua later blamed the rumors on the Devil.
Watch a profile of TB Joshua, Africa's most popular televangelist, below:
In related news, a South African preacher recently instructed members of his congregation to eat grass, claiming it would bring them closer to God and heal them of various ailments.
Details and photos after the jump.
From the Daily Mail:
A South African preacher made his congregation eat grass to 'be closer to God' before stamping on them.
Under the instruction of Pastor Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries dozens of followers dropped to the floor to eat the grass at his ministry in Garankuwa, north of Pretoria after being told it will 'bring them closer to God.'
His controversial methods have drawn criticism from thousands of people although members of his congregation swear by his methods - he is said to have claimed that humans can eat anything to feed their bodies and survive on whatever they choose to eat.
South Africa's Times Live provides further details:
"Yes, we eat grass and we're proud of it because it demonstrates that, with God's power, we can do anything," says Rosemary Phetha.
The 21-year-old Unisa law student says she had been battling a sore throat for more than a year. She claims it was healed after Daniel "turned me into a sheep and instructed me to eat grass".
Her testimony is shared by 27-year-old Doreen Kgatle, of Ga-rankuwa, who suffered a stroke two years ago.
"I could not walk but soon after eating the grass, as the pastor had ordered, I started gaining strength and an hour later I could walk again," said Kgatle, clad in the ministry's R150 T-shirt.
Of course, many people become violently sick afterwards, but that doesn't matter because... Jesus.
Photo source: Facebook.
h/t: Joe Jervis.