The controversial act of a staged resurrection in a Nigerian church has sparked widespread debate and discussion. As it turns out, not everything on social media is as it seems.
Social media was abuzz with reactions over the weekend after a video and pictures went viral showing Nigerian Pastor, Apostle Fabian Nna of the Fire of Liberation Interdenominational Ministries, resurrecting a man from the dead.
In the video released by his ministry, a young bearded man clad in a white overall is laid in a narrow casket and placed in front of the congregation.
Two men and one woman stand like undertakers around the casket while the pastor speaks to church members and prays over the body.
On the right side of the stage, a young woman acting like the wife of the supposedly dead man cries inconsolably.
“Who is going to buy me shawarma and chicken and chips?” The woman wails as she is held firmly by a female church member.
Minutes later, the pastor, who has been praying and quoting scriptures, commands the man in the casket to “arise and shine”.
The allegedly dead man emerges from the casket to the dismay of all worshippers, who disperse in fear before regrouping to see if he is actually alive.
Social media users who watched the video made unpleasant comments about the act and termed the resurrection fake.
Some people considered the video ridiculous and offensive to Christianity; others said it was a staged performance.
“This false Apostle needs to go to the mortuary where real people are to be raised from the dead, not these paid actors,” a social media user commented.
The resurrection scene that has sent tongues wagging on social media turns out to have been part of a Church drama acted during a three-day programme at the Fire of Liberation Interdenominational Ministries.
The Church termed it “drama Ministration” while releasing the video. A close look at the “miracle” scene also shows that it was not real but a coordinated church drama.
MMI found out that the church had a three-day ministration service tagged “Ebenezer 2023” in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, from September 30 to October 2. The first day of the programme featured some events, including a drama in which worshippers acted in a scene where a pastor prays and resurrects a young man from the dead.
On Saturday, the church, via its Facebook page, posted some pictures of the drama session but made no comments about them.
The next day, the church released a 7:39-minute video showing the resurrection drama with the caption, “Watch the ministration that has got people talking!”
In a closer look at the screen of the footage, one could see an annotation that read, “Drama Ministration.”
This, coupled with a caption that earlier mentioned the Church’s drama department, reveals that the alleged resurrection of the man was a stage performance by the Church, and not an actual resurrection as people had widely reported.