The founder and general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E. A Adeboye, is not new to the world of criticism.
In 2013, the pastor was heavily criticized by activists and Nigerians after he asked his congregation to raise a multi-million dollar fund to build a new auditorium at the church.
At the 61st annual convention at the sprawling Redemption Camp, along the Lagos-Ibadan highway, Enoch Adeboye announced plans to build a new auditorium spanning three kilometers in length and width.
On the eve of the last day of the week-long program, Mr. Adeboye requested donations for the new auditorium that would quadruple the church’s current auditorium, which has an estimated capacity of around one million people.
“We need a billion naira from ten people. If you are one of them, please consult my personal secretary after we finish today, ”Mr. Adeboye announced to the congregation.
“We also need N100 million from those who can afford it, if you are in that category. Also consult my personal secretary.
“However, we need everyone’s participation. If you can pay N50 million, N20 million, N5 million, N1 million down to just N100, be sure to participate. “
After the announcement, Mr. Adeboye sought to meet members who were “willing to join hands with our Father in the Lord to build a new auditorium for the glory of God.”
Debo Adeniran, executive director of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), said there was no way someone without a criminal record could pay for such a donation.
“It is very inappropriate because there is no place where the progenitor of such faith has done such a thing. Jesus Christ never cajoled people into making unjustified donations to the church, ”said Mr. Adeniran.
“No one in a life without a criminal record can donate that much,” Adeniran added.
Abiodun Aremu, secretary of the Joint Action Front (JAF), said the church is already up to its neck in corruption and vanity.
“Church leaders fraternize with corrupt political leaders. The church is being used as an agent of exploitation of the poor.
“When we call for a revolution, one of the institutions where the anger of the people would be visited is the church,” Aremu added.
When the RCCG General Superintendent asked those willing to donate to indicate their interest, hundreds of hands went up in the air.
The church divided potential donors into three groups: Category A Brothers would pay 1 billion naira; Category B Brothers would pay N100 million and Category C Brothers would pay N50 million and less.
Categories A and B are expected to meet with Mr. Adeboye’s secretary.
Church members and Mr. Adeboye’s supporters defended such a way to raise funds for a church project by claiming that the donations were voluntary.
A journalist, Jimi Disu on his blog also reacted to the news saying that the project marks a ‘dangerous trend’.
“I shouldn’t be concerned about how a church raises money to fund projects, but a dangerous trend is setting in and we’re led to believe that if we can’t ‘donate’ a certain amount of money, we can’t see Daddy GO’s personal Secretary,” Said Mr. Disu.
“That ‘privilege’ is for those who can donate generously to God’s work,” he added.
The previous year, the pastor had called in a new ‘covenant partner’ who he said will enjoy three years to live after the old set expires.
Adeboye said that the useful life of the new group of partners would be three years.
“I thank God for all my partners and I say thank you for the last ten years.
“Now the Lord tells me, the new group of partners will be for only three years. He said after three years, we can review, ”Adeboye said.
The set of 2012 “covenant partners” was divided into ten groups: the lowest cadre, Group One, would contribute N100 per month, while the highest, Group Ten, would distribute N2 million and more each month.
What do you think of religious houses manipulating their congregation to donate money to build churches when there are other things crying out for funds?
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