Updated 19 September 2014

Nigerian church pastor claims to cure anything, even Aids

The collapsed Nigerian building that claimed 67 South African lives is owned by a church that claims it can cure anything, even HIV and AIDS.


TB Joshua is known to thousands of people around the world as a "prophet of God" with healing hands that can cure anything from disabilities to cancer and HIV/Aids.

"Divine healing is the supernatural power of God bringing health to the human flesh," says the Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) on its website.

"Thousands who come oppressed with sickness and disease receive their healing at the Scoan... Truly, there is never a sickness Jesus cannot heal."

A multi-storey guest house belonging to the church collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria on Friday killing dozens of people, including 67 South Africans. The South Africans were believed to be part of at least five tour groups staying at Joshua's church at the time.

Agencies reported that over 100 survivors had been rescued.

Read: Nigerian pastor claims he can cure Ebola

Joshua can ''cure' anything
According to the church's website Joshua can cure just about anything.

Videos posted show people who have allegedly been healed by him. One man, apparently in a wheelchair, walked out of the church after being healed. A deaf woman suddenly began hearing.

Another woman with cystic fibrosis and various others with HIV and Aids had been "miraculously healed".

The website contains some gory before and after photographs of people whose wounds had been healed. Wounds included dog bites, burns, ulcers, and a "cancer-eaten arm".

Help given to prominent politicians and sports stars
The prominent people who have gone to Joshua for help include Zimbabwean politician Morgan Tsvangirai, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika, and ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela,

Sport celebrities who have approached him are former Springbok rugby players Joost van der Westhuizen, Jaco van der Westhuyzen, Ruben Kruger, and Wium Basson.

Basson died of cancer in April 2001. Kruger died in Pretoria in January 2010 after battling brain cancer for 10 years.

Read: Ruben Kruger dies of brain cancer

The prophet's 'remarkable' birth

"Prophet" Joshua was born in the village of Arigidi, Nigeria on June 12, 1963. The church claims he was in his mother's womb for 15 months.

"Significantly, almost a hundred years prior to his birth, it had been prophesied that a young man would emerge from the poor Oosin [sic] quarters and that God would use him mightily," the website said.

Osin is the name of a farm and a community in Nigeria.

"Another remarkable event occurred when he was three days old, as a large boulder crashed through the roof of his house, missing the baby by mere inches," said Scoan.

After the incident, his mother named him, "Temitope" meaning "What You (God) have done for me is worthy of thanks".

Joshua went to St Stephen’s Anglican Primary School in Arigidi, and became the leader of the student Christian fellowship.

"He was the smallest in the class but led the prayer during the school devotions and was known as small pastor.

"He was unable to complete his secondary education due to poverty."

Reflecting on his early life, Joshua is quoted as saying: "I found myself in a family background that irritated me. My natural circumstance of birth was poverty. I come from a very humble background."

Knew from young that he 'needed God'

In an article written by Joshua, titled "Everything Big Starts Little", he says he knew early in life that he needed God.

"I was in a trance for three consecutive days, then I saw a hand that pointed a Bible to my heart and the Bible entered my heart and my former heart seemed to immerse with the Bible immediately," he wrote.

"I saw the apostles and prophets... with someone whose head I could not see because he was tall to the heaven and suspended, which I believe was our Lord Jesus Christ sitting in their midst. I also saw myself in their midst.

"I am your God; I am giving you a divine commission to go and carry out the work of the Heavenly Father."

Church 'destroyed' three times

According to Scoan's website, the "architectural masterpiece" which collapsed on Friday was not the first. The church has had three previous locations, and each time something happened to its structure.

"The roof of the first church was blown off by a storm, the second church was washed away by a flood, and the third church also collapsed due to severe weather conditions," it said.

"In every situation, God is still saying something. Today, the Scoan is an architectural masterpiece located in the heart of Lagos."

Read more:

Doctor convinced HIV cure is real
'HIV cure' tea ads banned
Malawi ousts fake AIDS healers

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HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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