Chris Oyakhilome, the founder and President of LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy, has said pastors who are yet to reopen their churches due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are unbelievers who lack faith.
Oyakhilome stated this during a virtual midweek service to members of his congregation on Wednesday.
The Federal Government had in March ordered the closure of all public places including worship centres across the country as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus.
But the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 approved the reopening of religious centres in June, but some states in the South-West region, amongst others, did not permit the reopening of churches and mosques till August.
But following the approval of the governments of Lagos and Ogun states, pastors Tunde Bakare, Sam Adeyemi, Paul Adefarasin and Poju Oyemade are among those who are yet to reopen their churches.
Oyakhilome, however, insisted that if the pastors who have declined to reopen their churches are real pastors, then they should not be afraid because they should be healers of diseases.
He said: “If you refuse to open church for fear of being infected, you were never a believer.
“This is a great concern because there were churches that were thought to be churches until recently. We find a lot of ministers who were thought to be advocates of the gospel advocating for shutting down the churches.
“It is pressure like this that reveals what is a church and what is not. Do they really believe in God, the same God of the patriarchs in the Bible?
“I have laid hands on some of the most infectious people on earth and had no fear of being infected. The Word of God guarantees life in Christ.
“When you get to that point where you are afraid of opening churches for fear of being infected, you have denied the faith. You never believed.”
Oyakhilome had repeated painted the picture of a conspiracy theory about the coronavirus pandemic.
He said he believed God allowed the churches to be shut down because God wanted to get the church’s attention.
“Usually there should be a separation of church and state. But different leaders started making rules about wearing masks before we worship,” he said.
“These guys don’t have any research that shows that using a mask saves you from the COVID-19. On the contrary, we have abundant research results that prove that the mask doesn’t save you: in fact it kills you slowly. So why the mask: it keeps you subject to them. It reminds them of their power over you.
“Don’t look at the USA because its not a good example for any country to follow right now. It’s been politicised. They are caving in to the protagonists of the left to reduce criticism. I tell you, after the elections, nobody will wear masks.”