Tuesday, 16 October 2018
How Synagogue Church Emerged Africa's No 1 Religious Tourism Church
By Wole Alakija
Its perhaps surprising that most people who have heard about the iconic Synagogue Church of All Nations(SCOAN) steered by the controversial prophet, Temitope Joshua have yet to visit.For those who have visited,there is only one narrative to describe the feeling-wonder!Whether you are a christian,a muslim or an atheist,a visit to this gigantic edifice in Ikotun would shake you no matter how stone-hearted you may be.And to think that the area was a swamp a little over two decades ago makes the story more interesting.
Right now,it is a boom town with 3-star budget hotels,eateries and supermarkets catering largely for tourists not only from Africa but all corners of the globe.They all converge at this 10,000-seater Church for one thing-Religious Tourism.
From all records available,TB Joshua's Synagogue had become Africa's number one tourism attraction, driving religious tourism which has in turn led to massive economic growth and contributing to the gross domestic growth for lagos state and Nigeria as a whole.
In Africa,the Synagogue appears to have taken the lead in religious tourism,thanks to his Emmanuel TV platform which is devoted to his healing ministry and philantrophy across the globe.
Findings have shown that the Synagogue church is the most visited destination by religious tourists in Africa.The church's popularity has led to an increase in flights into Nigeria from other African nations and from all over the world.Only a few days back,South African Airways celebrated 20years of its operation in Nigeria with fanfare and it was no surprise that part of the reasons for its successful stint in the country is the airlift of thousands of religious tourists from Southern Africa to Lagos, with most of them ending up at the Synagogue Church of All Nations.Records reveal that over 3million local and international religious tourists visit the Synagogue yearly and the number is expected to rise in 2019.Celebrityplusonline investigations reveal that over 50 hotels which include bread&breakfast(B&B)are currently in operation within the church area, catering for the thousands of worshippers who troop to the Synagogue daily.For many of them,the location of the church has helped put food on their table and they cannot thank their stars more.