Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel has come under attack for criticising the reopening of markets while churches remained closed in Nigeria.
As part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Nigerian government banned religious gatherings till further notice.
However, Oyedepo speaking on Wednesday morning during the Covenant Hour of Prayer programme of the Church, said the continuous closure of churches was suspicious.
He disclosed that the Lord told him that it was part of moves to stop the church of God from expanding.
His comments did not go down well with some Nigerians on social media.
They criticised Oyedepo for taking such stance, adding that the church is not essential like the market, hence the closure should not be politicised.
Here are some comments gathered by DAILY POST from Twitter:
@Justinabenson10 “It is quite simple for me, churches aren’t running “essential services” like our markets offer. Bishop Oyedepo of all people should understand this. So who has died because he couldn’t go to church or mosque? Same can never be said of the markets, people need to re-stock supplies.”
@Ogbenibambam “I guess Bishop Oyedepo is fighting for his pocket and not God, No one can fight the battle of the Lord.”
@Abdrahimnda “This is why we are so poor in mind, in thoughts and pockets. We think everything is about religion. Why won’t people go to markets for 6hours? Will you feed them at the church? Or is it that prayers and worships are no more accepted at homes?
@Boxypiper “Churches aren’t running essential services papa.
Do you know what it means for Muslims not to pray on Fridays during Ramadan?
@Ichinazam “Even the Bible preaches of quarantine. God told Moses that if someone had leprosy he had to separated from everyone and kept in isolation. Stop free styling with Christianity and read your bible. Spreading false information like this damages our beliefs.”
@Kene_Onyemaeme “Meanwhile his churches in UK and US are still closed but his Nigerian churches should operate. What do you take Nigeria for? The lockdown was partially lifted because of the impending economic implications on the masses, instead of his Church to support the government he’s smelling a rat.
@Lorenzodgenius “Market is a place where people go to buy basic things they need to survive, church is not. If Oyedepo is a common man, can he and his family survive without food stuffs. What purpose does the church serve right now? This is not about being sentimental, no need for church now.”
@Wolenchy02 “Sentiment aside, Bishop is making sense.Church is more organised than the market and bus stops though, so God help us.”
@Cephas_Basu “He has a point about the church being more orderly than the market.But please all these Pastors should know that not everything is an attack on the church. The paranoia is too much.”
@Supaflyest “Papa doing the most to secure his bag, hurts bad when you suddenly stop seeing free weekly money. Growth and expansion of the church worldwide but 95% of the members are not growing. Market provides food but the church wouldn’t. You are not going to eat the words.God is everywhere!
@Obianuju_Obakpu “What people fail to understand is that we Christians are the church. The body of Christ. Not the building!. No body was stopped from praying and holding services with family in their houses. So you can pray in your house. Market is opened because we have to eat. Eat food!”