Miracles, Healings, Fulfilment, breakthroughs – all these apart, one commonly over-looked integral component of the annual Holy Ghost Congress (HGC) organized by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is the rich display of authentic African culture – music, poetry and language, attire, dance steps, etc, all employed in praise of the LORD. Not just by a group on stage (even though there is indeed the exciting African Praise Team presentations) but by millions of bubbling Nigerians full of hope, gratitude and joy before the God of all the earth.This shouldn’t be much of a surprise. After all, the precursor for the HGC is ‘the Congress,’ which started in 1977 as a radical Christian protest, and alternative to the then FESTAC (World Black Festival of Arts and Culture) hosted by Nigeria. Most people would have laughed at the ‘David vs Goliath’ kind of efforts of Pastor E.A. Adeboye to protest at that time, the world-shaking international Festival which had as ultimate agenda the revival of the several ancient, and at that time, fading spiritual (daemonic) entities. Today nobody could deride anymore.
While it has not proven possible to organize another edition of the FESTAC, the then Congress still continues today, now in two streams. On the one hand, the Congress gave birth to the now bi-annual “Go-A-Fishing” Programme of the RCCG; while on the other, we have the annual Holy Ghost Congress, (formerly called the Holy Ghost Festival.) The tenth edition of this international, interdenominational week-long event held this year 10th to 15th December at the Redemption Camp. The attendance at Friday night of the event, at a conservative 4.5 million, was about the entire population of Singapore - as pointed out by a guest Singaporean minister at the meeting. It can also be compared with the 2.6 million people performing the Islamic Hajj at Mecca at the same period of time.
Incredibly, all these millions (or at least most of them) were hosted in one single auditorium - the very largest auditorium anywhere on the face of planet earth. Well, even though size is no big deal with God, but the image of such multitudes seriously keeping Heaven in view, is surely heart-warming. With the sound clear expositions of the Christian gospel, powerful prophetic words to destroy yokes and besetting sins in the lives of many, heavy concerted prayers directed at various strategic needs of Nigeria – not to mention the various seminars on practical issues as entrepreneurship, living the Christian life at the workplace, home-making, etc, everyone who loves the Kingdom of God must feel a tug in their heart, beholding the spectacle! We certainly wouldn’t rather it was the gathering of cultists that is attracting such figures! To the glory of God, the very night the millions were at Redemption Camp, another impressive number of Christians congregated at Cannanland, Ota, less than an hour away, for Shiloh 2007. Guess who is being intimidated by all these figures!