A respected pastor in Nigeria has hit out at the practice of tithing – which is when Christians give 10% of their earnings to the church.
Pastor Tunde Bakare told the BBC Yoruba service that it should not be compulsory and also dismissed the idea of running for Presidency.
Regarding his political ambition, Pastor bakare said, having once served as Buhari’s running mate in the past, it will be most inappropriate for him to contest against the incumbent president.
Giving tithes is a controversial topic here in Nigeria and many churches compel members of their congregations to tithe, even though many people cannot afford to do so.
It is estimated that 80% of Nigerians live on less than $2 (£1.40) a day.
Pastor Bakare, who leads the popular Later Rain Assembly church in Lagos, did not mince his words:
Tithing is not compulsory. No-one should feel compelled to pay – no-one is holding a gun to their head.”
The words of the pastor, who is also a politician – he served as President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 elections won by Goodluck Jonathan – are likely to spark a fierce debate.
Churches where pastors are becoming fat and the members are growing lean, God will judge them.”
He also dismissed the idea of running for the Presidency during the interview.