The most trending news in Nigeria at present, apart from Ebola and terrorist attacks, is that of the impending divorce of charismatic Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers? LoveWorld, also known as Christ Embassy.
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New reports claim Chris Oyakhilome has sacked one of his top pastors, Reverend Grace for allegedly setting up a prayer session concerning the messy divorce.
She was allegedly sacked by Pastor Chris for raising a prayer team to pray for the restoration of peace in the church?s first family when Rev Anita, who headed the London church, stopped attending services.
One of the ministers, who spoke to SUN said ?We suspected this issue is going to go public some day since the day Pastor Chris sacked Rev Grace for meddling in his family affairs by openly calling for prayers among some members in London when Rev Anita stopped coming to the church she was shepherding while all efforts to get her failed.
?Some of us believe our colleague in London did the right thing by seeking spiritual help for the family, but I think Pastor Chris misread her intention and had to travel to London?.
Apart from the sack of the London pastor, another issue connected to the divorce, which has also been generating tension in the church, is the cry of female ministers who are accusing Pastor Chris of introducing ?controversial rules that are now threatening the foundation of many marriages in the church?.
A female church member of one of the Christ Embassy branches in Abuja told the newspaper that ?the revolt of Rev Anita will be a child?s play to the one that people will soon see when we open up on how a secret policy introduced sometime early this year has been tearing many families and homes apart in our parishes across the country.
?This is a strange directive that husbands and their wives must not worship or attend the same parish.
?Now, if a couple is a member of a parish, one of them has to be posted to another parish and this is fueling adultery in the church in no small measure. Some of us who are female ministers that have been separated from our husbands, we are already talking. Some have started revolting against the order in their parishes, while some have refused to obey such transfer orders?.
Another top female official of the church in one of the parishes located in Ikeja said: ?The policy is real but it is creating tension in the church already?.
The female minister, whose husband has been transferred out of the parish they have been attending together for years to give effect to the policy further, stated: ?It?s a heartbreaking development because now we know that that directive was introduced to justify why Pastor Chris has to be in Lagos and his wife in London but beyond that, it is encouraging immorality while the church believes that we have an unusual grace that covers our human failings, including adultery?.
Coming down to her personal experience, the female minister disclosed that soon after her husband was transferred to a parish far away from their initial one, ?one of the male ministers where I am to stay back started winking at me.
?The first Sunday I felt he did that unknowingly or without any ulterior motive but the following Sunday he came to shake hands with me after service and what he did was to use one of his fingers to scratch my palm during the handshake.
?I was miffed but I couldn?t do anything because he will deny and I will look stupid but since then he got my message because I stopped greeting him?.