Nigerian preacher TB Joshua reacted with horror to reports that people in Zimbabwe wishing to visit Nigeria for healing sessions have been paying $100 registration fees. He has ordered immediate refunds.
He said in a statement: "I have received many emails and newspaper reports on the internet complaining of registration fees of $100. What then makes us an evangelist? When people go to concerts, they also register with $100. If we are evangelists, co-ordinating for God's sake, all our concerns, aspirations and heart desires must be subjected to the gospel through works of charity by helping the sick, distressed and unsaved instead of collecting registration fees of $100 from them before giving succour, I mean, attending to them.
"This cannot be justified; it amounts to taking a portion of their situation. Your promise, if I may remind you, was to give rest to the sick, distressed and unsaved. If we are focused on making money only, a large slice of life will pass us by."
Prophet TB Joshua, castigated 'men of God' who are living large at the expense of their followers.
"We should spend less on ourselves and more on others," he said.
Responding to Zimbabweans who are said to have already paid US$100 for registration, Prophet TB Joshua ordered that they be refunded.
"Those who have already paid $100 for the registration should be refunded, for God's sake. I am impressed by the prompt action of the co-ordinators in Tanzania and Zimbabwe who have been refunding the $100 paid by each person as a registration fee. I believe all others will act likewise."
It was reported early this week that hundreds of people responded to a television advert inviting them to come and receive "spiritual healing" from TB Joshua at Belvedere Teachers' College.
But TB Joshua was never in the country. Instead, people believed to be from his church asked the crowd to buy registration forms showing their intent to travel to Nigeria. A further $2,000 was to be paid to meet travel and accommodation costs.