Leader and founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet T. B. Joshua has advised that the Lagos State Government should desist from its planned move to tax churches if they don’t want to ‘share in a curse’.
He said, “The wealth of the church is the strength of the church, and the strength of the church is the Holy Spirit – so what are you talking about?
“How would you now tax the Holy Spirit? When you are out there looking at the church, it’s a place of refuge for everybody when there are economic crises.
“People are jobless; when you are given a sack letter, the next place you think of is the church, when you are sick, you run to the church. Somebody who receives a sack letter from his office, is the Pastor still expecting money from such person?
“A pastor that does that is receiving a curse. I will advise the government not to share a curse from any minister of God that is collecting money from people they are supposed to give money to.
“Government should not join them in sharing the curse. People are being sacked and that’s what’s happening in the country today.
“If you are sacked, the Pastor is supposed to restore hope and strength to you, give you money to invest, go to their store and give you at least a bag of rice that will sustain you until you get another job.
“These people are a burden to the church – but when you are looking at the church from a distance, you will think they are bringing money…
“So, if any Pastors sees it as a means of extorting money from the under-privileged people, that Pastor is receiving a curse.
“There is no need to tax churches because they are not making money, and if anybody starts making money at the expense of other people, the person is getting a curse – and I don’t want government to share in that curse.”
In 2017, Lagos State revealed its plan to begin to tax churches and mosques if the Land Use Charge review got passed.
The Law, the State House of Assembly, said was intended to generate revenue for the state.