By: Okosun Dennis
The Nigerian cleric, Pastor TB Joshua has released a documentary on YouTube detailing he was persecuted during a visit to Nazareth, Israel last year before he was awarded a national honour by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.
He explained in a statement that the two-day event which held on June 2019, in the historic hometown of Jesus Christ, attracted thousands of religious tourists from across the globe.
Despite the criticism that trailed the event at the Amphitheatre of Mount Precipice by local religious figures and nearly led to cancellation due to the intensity of attacks, he overcame and was rewarded with a tourism ambassador.
According to the Founder, Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), “A protest was even organized with hundreds trouncing through the city in Northern Israel with placards decrying the coming event and people shouting: “Let this witch get away from us!”
“Despite the ‘noise’ surrounding the event, it was held successfully as I preached a message on love and ministering “Healing and Deliverance in Jesus’ name” to the large crowds that gathered.
“Love for fellow man breaks down all barriers. It melts all hindrances. It dissolves prejudice, misunderstanding and suspicion,” Prophet Joshua preached in his sermon.
Explaining the depth of his persecution, he pointed out how group of religious figures visited the venue of Mount Precipice after the event and performed a “cleansing ritual” with water, leaves and salt.
However, that after the preachment, interviews with local figures revealed a markedly different impression, with residents celebrating the economic and social impact of Joshua’s visit to the region and calling for him to return for future events.
“This is the first time in 2,000 years we have heard the name of Jesus proclaimed publicly in Nazareth,” a tearful Nazarene Christian stated.
The event, which was broadcast on local television throughout Israel was said to have featured in The New York Times and Reuters, which, subsequently, attracted the attention of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, which gave an award to the Nigerian cleric and made him a “Tourism Ambassador”.
During the award presentation, the Minister of Tourism, Isreal, Yariv Levin, said, “TB Joshua, on the occasion of your visit to Israel, I am honoured to recognise you as a true friend of Israel.
“Thank you for your support and solidarity, which are deeply appreciated. It is my pleasure to name you as a ‘Tourism Goodwill Ambassador For Israel’.
Responding in an interview, JB Joshua said, “You only need to hear ‘Go!’ from above. Who are you to say no? When God says yes, no one can say no! The noise of the North and South, the noise of East and West does not matter. It only promotes.”
Reacting to the documentary, followers of Joshua were quick to salute his courage, opining that such degree of attacks would easily discourage those of lesser faith.
“It depends on who sent you,” the prominent cleric concluded. “Above all powers; above all kings. What can man do? Can man stop God? No. Capital NO!”
It would be recalled that Joshua is the first ‘Evangelical Pastor’ to have held a public event in Nazareth; the only other religious figure to have had such an event was Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.