Followers of a Nigerian gospel preacher, Victor Great, burst into praise singing and thanksgiving Thursday, September 21, after the evangelist remained alive on the last day of a 21-day fasting during which he never ate or drank.
The leader of Zion Ark of Covenant International Bible Church was exhausted, bedridden, and could only alter a few faint words to his followers as he lay on a platform in the church house in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria, on Thursday.
His followers had carried him into the church house on the last day of his 21-day fast for a Thanksgiving ceremony aimed at celebrating his triumph over death.
They titled the thanksgiving ceremony the “triumphant return from 21 days and night wilderness journey.”
Some of the worshippers described the Pastor as a god for surviving without food or water for 21 days, that is, from September 1—21, 2023.
His Ministry wrote on the Church’s Facebook page: “This is a man who is genuine with a passion for doing the work of God and, for 16 years, has adhered to God’s instruction to embark on the journey of fasting for 21 days without food, water, or substance.”
On the 21st day of the fasting, all the hundreds of worshippers of the denomination dressed in white attires.
A medical doctor who said he had been worshipping with the Church for 11 years, said it was supernatural for one to withstand 21 days without food or water.
“…as a medical doctor of over 40 years standing, I think he’s really a god because only a god can go through what he’s going and survive,” he said.
“… Fasting to extreme if not supernatural, surpasses all natural accomplishments known to man,” he added.
Another worshipper described him as a “man-made god” who is meant to deliver those who are under his ministry.
“Papa is a priest that is extracted from among men and transformed into a god in order for him to become a hundred percent spirit and a hundred percent man,” the follower said.
Fasting is a normal act for Christians but going without food or water for 21 days is unnatural, according to health experts.
Nutritionists say the body can only go without food and water for a maximum time of one week and with water only, but no food, the body may survive for up to 2 to 3 months.
The only known person in Christiandom who is believed to have beaten this natural record is Jesus Christ, the Christian savior who is believed to have fasted four 40 days and nights without food or water.
Attempts by some Christian evangelists to emulate this have been fatal.
In February this year, the media was flooded by the report of a Mozambican pastor named Francisco Barajah, who died in a hospital in the city of Beira on the 25th day of his attempt to fast for 40 days like Jesus Christ.
In May, Kenyan Pastor, Paul McKenzie, left the world in shock after ordering his congregation to fast until they met Jesus, alleging that it was the end time.
Hundreds of people died as a result and were buried in mass graves in a remote Kenyan community.