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 world of millionaire preachers for this week’s episode of Channel 4’s Unreported World.
By promoting the dream of escaping poverty, they have turned their churches into corporations, which really are changing the face of Christianity.
Every Sunday millions of Nigerians crowd into thousands of competing churches. The Channel 4 team visits one church in Lagos run by Dr Sign Fireman, an up-and-coming preacher who is attempting to become the most successful yet.
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.
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.
Nigerian Millionaire Preachers such as Pastor Chris Okotie, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo Bishop David Oyedepo and Prophet T. B. Joshua acquire their wealth from various sources, including their congregations.
This episode of Unreported World intends to shed more light on this issue.
For more information and clips go to the Unreported World videos website.by