NIGERIAN evangelical church SPAC Nation is being probed by the UK Charity Commission after it emerged that the faith house engages in weird practices including asking its members to sell their blood for money.
Based in London, SPAC Nation us one of the numerous Nigerian evangelical churches in the UK run by flambouyant clergymen that are wealthy as a result of levying a 10% tithe on their members. Church members are compelled to pay one tenth of their earnings to the clergymen who run these churches and they also have to make other payments such as buying memorabilia produced by their pastors.
SPAC Nation is run by 39-year-old Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, a Nigerian who took up residency in Britain in 2005. Now wealthy as a result of the profitability of the church, Pastor Adegboyega once shared a room with his cousin, Star Wars actor John Boyega, after moving to London from Nigeria but he now drives luxury cars with personalised number plates.
Over the last week, the UK Charities Commission has launched an investigation into the activities of the church after it emerged that its pastors were pressuring young people in the congregation to sell their own blood to raise funds. This is not unusual in Nigerian churches as they regularly sell all forms of ointments and drinks, claiming they are cures for cancer, HIV/Aids, sickle cell anaemia, etc.
In this instance, SPAC Nation pastors have also encouraged worshippers to take out loans in order to pay for the church’s lavish spending. SPAC Nation is registered with the UK Charities Commission as a charity set up to advance Christianity, particularly with young people, so its activities fall under the agency’s remit.
For now, the Charities Commission has ordered the church to deposit all its money in the bank while the investigation lasts. Scotland Yard is said to be reviewing the complaints against the SPAC Nation made by Labour MP Steve Reed, who is also the shadow children’s minister.
Trouble started after the Huffington Post alleged in a report that some members of SPAC Nation had been taking teenagers to donate blood for medical trials in a practice known as bleeding for seed. UK newspaper Mail On Sunday then alleged that parishioners were encouraged to raise £100,000 a week, while Huffington Post UK revealed that young church members claimed that they were asked to go and donate blood and are paid up to £100 by medical trial companies.
This money is then handed by the young people over to the church’s pastors. The reports further alleged that while members were told to raise the seed through whatever means, including if they had to beg, borrow or steal, church pastors cruise around town in £150,000 Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis with personalised number plates such as Pastor RR.