Shepherd Bushiri, Who Claims to Walk on Air, Raise Dead, Heading to LA for 'Healing and Miracles'

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri in this photo posted on June 20, 2016. |

A controversial Malawian self-professed prophet, who is followed by millions and claims to be able to walk on air and raise the dead, is scheduled to lead a major prophetic event in California next month that promises to deliver "miracles."

"Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, overseer of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECG) an international body of Christians, who share a common goal: to see Jesus Christ lifted higher and higher and millions of souls to come to the saving knowledge of God, will be in Los Angeles, CA for two days of ministry in healing, deliverance, salvation, prophecies and miracles," reads a description for the event scheduled for April 5 and 6.

The event urges people to "bring the sick and believe God for a miracle in your life and the lives of your love ones."

Bushiri has faced major controversy in Africa, with the government of Botswana shutting down his church in January due to concerns over the use of fake money, which is illegal.

Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, head of South Africa's Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, has also taken aim at his ministry, stating:

"We discovered that some of these churches were making a considerable profit from so-called 'faith products' that were being bought by poor people desperate to have their lives change for the better."

The preacher, who has over 2.3 million followers on Facebook, runs churches from Ghana to South Africa, and claims to bring people back from the dead, walk in the air, and cure people from HIV.

The Sun tabloid said on Wednesday that tickets for the Enlightened Christian Gathering in Inglewood run as high as $505. It reported that the pastor's net worth is estimated to be about $150 million.

His conferences have filled stadiums across Africa, while his prophecies and alleged miraclulous healings have been broadcasted on his popular Prophetic Channel TV on YouTube.

Besides the accusation of using "miracle money," his reputation has also been challenged by eventgoers who have claimed that the pastor is lying about the miracles.

A woman said in 2016 that he used paid actors during his healing sermons, though Bushiri strongly denies this.

"My ministry is not for everyone, it is for those who have faith," he told BBC News in an interview earlier this month.

"I'm just a messenger of God's work. God heals people in our meetings," he added.

"One time I got doctors here to bring patients with HIV — they tested them before to show they are HIV.

"I prayed for them and again afterwards and now they were HIV-negative."

BBC noted that Bushiri's regular Sunday services alone gather up to 40,000 people, who are often presented with various merchandise to buy, ranging from T-shirts and wrist bands to "miracle oils" said to have healing properties.

Bushiri insisted that the reason people question his wealth and his work is due to racism.

"My success should inspire people to be entrepreneurs," he said.

"I am a businessman and that is separate from being a prophet. My prosperity is from private businesses. Such questions are not asked from leaders of white churches but when an African man prospers, then it's a problem."

He also defended the merchandise that his ministry sells, asking how it is different from Catholic churches selling rosaries or Bibles.

As for his wealth, he said that his prosperity is an inspiration for his followers.

"They think if God can do it for me, He can do it for them. If they believed there is anything wrong, they wouldn't be following me," he argued.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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