Evangelical Christians have flocked to Israel for a mass faith-healing by Nigerian pastor outside Jesus’s hometown of Nazareth.
Some worshippers sang in various languages while others collapsed and even vomited during Sunday’s event, presided over by T.B. Joshua, who has amassed millions of followers on social media from his base in the Nigerian city of Lagos.
“Jesus’s father, Joseph, and his mother, Mary, came from here. What a blessing. No other place would have been better for Jesus to come from. It was God’s design,” Joshua told the crowd gathered in a sun-baked stadium on Mount Precipice.
When the self-described prophet descended from the stage to bless attendees, placing his hand on their heads, several declared themselves healed from sickness or infirmity. Attendants stood ready to catch those who fainted in excitement.
Minerva Resendiz, from Mexico, said she had come to see Joshua as part of the two-day gathering “to ask for healing, for a breakthrough … to resolve conflicts in the family”. “I would like that (all people) could see a miracle through Jesus Christ,” Resendiz, 40, said. Other pilgrims came from China, Russia and African and South American countries.
Evangelicals made up roughly half of the more than 2 million Christian pilgrims who visited Israel in 2018, according to the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, which oversees evangelical outreach to Israel.