Nigerian Pastor TB Joshua has become the first religious leader in Africa to surpass five million followers on the popular social media platform Facebook.
Joshua, who surpassed the milestone on the evening of Monday 14th December 2020, thanked his followers in a Facebook post commemorating the feat.
“Thank you for joining us in our mission of changing lives, changing nations and changing the world through the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he wrote, adding that “the best is yet to come”.
The cleric, who leads The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos and founded the popular Christian channel Emmanuel TV, beat Pastor Enoch Adeboye, another popular Nigerian Pastor, to the milestone by a slim margin.
Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has 4,981,000 followers on his official Facebook Page as at the time of filing this report.
Controversial Malawian ‘Prophet’ Shepherd Bushiri has almost 4,200,000 followers whilst the head of Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has just under 2,500,000 followers on the social media platform.
Abuja-based Pastor Joshua Iginla has 3,100,000 followers, leader of Dunamis Dr Paul Enenche has 1,900,000, Ugandan Samuel Kakande has 1,800,000, Pastor Alph Lukau from South Africa has 1,500,000 whilst Ghanaian Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams has 1,300,000.
Joshua’s ‘miracle’ videos especially attract attention. A clip posted to his Facebook page last week showing a young boy receiving ‘a miracle’ during Joshua’s crusade in the Dominican Republic in 2017 has been viewed a staggering 32,000,000 times since being posted.
His large following comes mainly from outside Nigeria with the cleric’s popularity particularly evident in Latin America, Southern Africa, and parts of Asia.
In addition, Joshua’s YouTube channel Emmanuel TV is the most viewed Christian ministry channel worldwide with 1,800,000 subscribers and over six hundred million views.
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance writer and social media analyst based in Nigeria