Mixed Reactions as BBC Exposes Widespread Abuse and Torture by Late TB Joshua

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The BBC has uncovered evidence of widespread abuse and torture perpetrated by the late TB Joshua, the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, one of the world's largest Christian evangelical churches. Dozens of former members, including five British citizens, have come forward with allegations of atrocities spanning almost 20 years, including rape and forced abortions, within the secretive Lagos compound.

TB Joshua, a charismatic and influential preacher and televangelist with a massive global following, died in 2021. The BBC's two-year investigation has revealed eyewitness accounts of physical violence, torture, and child abuse allegedly carried out by Joshua. Numerous women have reported being sexually assaulted, with some claiming to have endured years of repeated rape within the compound. Multiple allegations of forced abortions following the alleged rapes have also emerged, including one woman who said she underwent five terminations.

The investigation further exposes the manipulation behind Joshua's "miracle healings," which were broadcast to millions worldwide. One victim, a British woman referred to as Rae, shared her harrowing experience of being sexually assaulted by Joshua and subjected to solitary confinement for two years. The abuse was so severe that she attempted suicide multiple times within the compound.


The Synagogue Church of All Nations, which operates the Christian TV channel Emmanuel TV and has millions of viewers on social media, has not responded to the specific allegations but has claimed that previous claims against Joshua were unfounded.

Over 25 former disciples from various countries, including the UK, Nigeria, the US, South Africa, Ghana, Namibia, and Germany, have corroborated the testimonies, with some reporting experiences as recent as 2019. Many victims were teenagers when they joined the church, and some described their experiences as being part of a cult.

The BBC's investigation, conducted in collaboration with openDemocracy, marks the first time multiple insiders have come forward publicly to share their accounts. They claim to have faced significant obstacles in raising the alarm, with some alleging physical attacks and threats after speaking out. The BBC crew itself was fired at and detained while trying to film the church's Lagos compound from a public street.

Four of the British citizens who spoke to the BBC stated that they reported the abuse to UK authorities after escaping the church but claim that no further action was taken. Similar claims were made by a British couple who sent eyewitness accounts and video evidence to the British High Commission in Nigeria in 2010 but received no response.

TB Joshua's widow, Evelyn, now leads Synagogue Church of All Nations, which continues to operate. Survivors and former members are calling for a thorough investigation into the actions of TB Joshua and the church during his tenure. They believe that there are likely many more victims who have yet to come forward and hope that steps will be taken to uncover the truth about the prolonged abuses within the organization.

Reactions
Following the report, social media users shared their views on the investigation.

An X User, @ur_bwoi_towa wrote: “Few minutes into the TB Joshua documentary and I’ve already noticed some similarities in some campus ministries/cults.”

@snort_randy, said: “Me and my brothers would only tune in to EmmanuelTV whenever we needed a good laugh. We could still see through the gimmicks as young as we were; reason why I find it absurd how adults fell for his theatrics. Used to drive my mom nuts every time we laughed.”

@WondaDell: “Y’all think a single documentary with no valid evidence but just accusations can eradicate whatever God has used TB Joshua to do for the world. It’s not like we’re in a court where judges rule in accordance to whatever is been said by a witness.”

A YouTube user, @DebelAjiboye, wrote: “I just finished watching the whole episode of this newly released BBC Africa Eye Documentary about TB Joshua.

“Knowing some of those disciples personally, the shock I’m experiencing is beyond words. I found myself repeatedly pausing the video, uttering a stunned ‘wow’ at each revelation.”

Another user, @emmanymatthew2539: “I remember when I first watched this man on TV- NTA Ibadan was in 1992/93 on one Saturday. I was less than 8 years then.

“My grandma watched him on TV and within five minutes, she said let’s change the channel to BCOS this man is not from God. I said how, but he’s performing miracles. And her response still resonates in my memory till date — ‘Beware of false Prophets’, Matthew 7:15.”

@theowalker5753 wrote: “Even in grave prophet TB Joshua remains a man sent from heaven. His teachings have inspired me till this day. So all these fake schemes from y’all can’t take that away.

“It’s going to be the same message and doctrines I will pass on to my generations to come. Thank you and God bless you. God is our judge.”


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