CHRIST Embassy Church founder Pastor Chris Oyakhilome has lashed out at his colleagues who have supported the closure of worship centres to prevent the spread of coronavirus saying they are not true Christians.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, all churches and mosques in Nigeria have been shut as they normally attract huge crowds, risking spreading the virus. Several clergymen, especially evangelical pastors have condemned the lockdown, saying it is preventing them from laying their hands on the sick and healing them.
A few weeks ago, televangelist Apostle Johnson Suleman, the general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, said that if they were allowed to visit the sick, they would be able to cure them of coronavirus by laying their hands on them. Most other clergymen, have, however, supported the ban on congregations, as places of worship were was main avenues through which the virus spread in Asia.
Adding his voice to the debate, Pastor Oyakhilome said clergymen who supported the closure of churches worldwide have done a great disservice to the body of Christ. He declared such leaders were not true Christians and should be blamed for the inability of people to see the hands of God during the pandemic.
In a telecast to his members, the Edo-born popular preacher took on his fellow preachers, saying many of them are sell-outs. A visibly angry Pastor Oyakhilome also queried the decision to shut out Covid-19 patients from churches despite the popular notion that faith centres should be healing centres.
Pastor Oyakhilome said: “In different cities, ministers of God gathered together and shut down the congregations of the Lord. How many said, let us pray, give us time to pray? They consulted you, they consulted you in different nations and states. How many of you said, let us pray?
“Because they said there would be compensation for the period of the lockdown. What compensation can be enough to replace the praise and worship of the congregation? I hope you have enjoyed the time so far, only you in the cathedral did online transmission. Hope you enjoyed it so far?”
In addition, Pastor Oyakhilome, who told his congregation he had a lot to tell them, said churches would soon be asked to set up testing centres because people would not be going for testing. He also kicked against proposed development of vaccines for coronavirus.
Pastor Oyakhilome added: “Is the church of Jesus Christ not a place of healing? So, those of you who love to run around government officials to get your validation, come and get Covid-19 compliant registration for your church. That is the last day Jesus will be in that church.
“What they are using to test, do you know what it is? Do you know why it can show positive and negative? Do you know?
“A virus they told us they are still studying, why don’t they study it first? They are still studying it and they already have a vaccine that could be ready in July for a virus they are still studying.”