Nigerian faith healer TB Joshua, who also happens to be a millionaire, is claiming that his patented holy water can cure people suffering from the deadly Ebola virus. He reportedly sent 4,000 bottles of the special water as a part of an aid package to Sierra Leone, via a private jet that cost $50,000. He is believed to have sent a cash donation of the same size, along with the water.
The news of Joshua’s holy water comes at a time when doctors and health workers are already trying to convince people in the rural areas that science could help them more than prayers or witchcraft. Nonetheless, the cash donation is certainly the need of the hour to stem the outbreak of Ebola in the West African nation.
The donation was confirmed by the office of Sierra Leone president Ernest Bai Koroma – the statement revealed that the cash was meant to ‘feed those affected by the Ebola outbreak’. The office, however, made no mention of the controversial holy water.
For years, Joshua has been claiming to use his magic water to cure a host of health problems, including infertility, tumors and more. He also claims that he has been distributing the anointing water to several nations like the USA, UK, Greece, India, and Russia, through his church, the Synagogue Church of All Nations, based in Lagos. The water, he says, has helped the ‘sick, afflicted and oppressed’.
Joshua was one of the five millionaire Nigerian pastors profiled by Forbes magazine in 2011. At the time, the article estimated his net worth at $10 million to $15 million. The massively influential preacher has hundreds of thousands of followers across the globe, with whom he holds meetings online and on the phone. Some followers have claimed that they were cured of diseases like HIV and cancer, and other say he has accurately predicted the future, like the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the Malaysia Airlines M370 disaster.
A whopping 107,000 people follow the preacher on Twitter, while 1.2 million people from like his Facebook page. Joshua also stays connected with his massive follower network through his personal television network called Emmanuel TV.
Of course, there are skeptics who trash Joshua and his claims. Many have questioned his moral caliber, and a pastor even went as far as accusing Joshua of stealing his wife. Several people have tweeted against his claim that his holy water can cure Ebola.
“Surely, T.B. Joshua must be breaking a law claiming his holy water cure Ebola,” wrote one person. “This is just too serious to ignore.”
“T.B. Joshua plays on fear, greed and the vulnerability of precarious circumstances. His ‘miracles’ need to be debunked,” tweeted another.
Meanwhile, over one million people remain affected by the deadly virus that has gripped West Africa. It appears that the special water isn’t working, after all.