The Synagogue Church of All Nations has sent condolences to the families of those killed when its guest house collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria.
“To all those who lost family members and loved ones, please accept our heartfelt commiserations. No one knows by the present sign or situation what the future holds,” the church said on its website today.
“We must therefore live each day as if it were our last and leave tomorrow’s trouble for the one who bore our troubles on the cross. We thank God for the martyrs and we pray for the family members and loved ones left behind.”
The church’s multistorey guest house collapsed on Friday, killing scores of people, including 67 South Africans. Today, news reports quoted the National Emergency Management Agency in Nigeria as saying the death toll had risen to 80 and that 131 survivors had been pulled from the rubble.
The South Africans were part of tour groups lodging at the church of faith healer “prophet” TB Joshua.
The church said it felt the pain of the affected families.
“The pain of one is the pain of all. It is indeed a sad and painful moment for the families and friends who have lost loved ones,” it said.
The church’s leader TB Joshua is known to thousands of people around the world as a “prophet of God” who believe he can cure anything from disabilities to cancer and HIV/Aids.
The televangelist claims to have predicted the Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane crash and the Boston marathon bombings. He apparently did not foresee the collapse of his own church building.
The church said one of its buildings “unexpectedly” collapsed, resulting in death and injury. It implied that a “strange aircraft” had something to do with the disaster.
“This incident was preceded by the appearance of a strange aircraft which flew very low over the building, four times and then disappeared,” it said.
“The church views this tragedy as part of an attack on it and in particular prophet TB Joshua. In due course God will reveal the perpetrators of this unfortunate tragedy.”
The church said it had cooperated with authorities from Nigeria, South Africa and other nations and was working “hand in hand” with them.
“The church ... has worked in collaboration with ... authorities to ensure that survivors are rescued, attended to with the best medical treatment, cared for in the most humane and hospitable manner and reunited with their families, while those who passed on – martyrs of the Kingdom of God – are retrieved, identified and treated respectfully.”
It was saddened by “inaccurate reports” that it was not cooperating with rescue teams.
The church said it had provided help and continued to do so. It would work with authorities to establish the cause of the collapse.