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70% Of Pastors In Nigeria Live In Poverty, Says Cleric

 Nigerian preacher, Gideon Odoma has brought to light the financial hardships faced by the majority of pastors in the country. 

According to Odoma, at least 70% of Nigerian pastors live in poverty, with thousands earning monthly salaries of less than N60,000 ($130 USD).

Odoma shared his observations on his official X page, challenging the widespread belief that pastoring is a lucrative profession in Nigeria.

 He highlighted the disparity between the public perception, shaped by the visibility of prominent Pentecostal pastors, and the stark reality for many clergy members across various denominations.

“At least, 70% of pastors in Nigeria are poor. And that’s me being conservative,” Odoma wrote. 

He stressed that the high-profile Pentecostal Men of God (MoGs) and denominations are not representative of the broader pastoral community’s economic conditions.

 “Many people think that the popular Pentecostal MoGs and denominations are representative of reality. 

“No, they are not. Do you know how much pastors of QIC, EYN, ECWA, NKST, UEC, COCIN, etc., are paid monthly? You won’t believe it if I told you.”

Odoma went on to detail the financial struggles faced by pastors, mentioning that many receive less than N60,000 monthly. 

He cited instances where pastors’ salaries were renegotiated downwards due to financial constraints of their congregations. 

“Sometimes, when a pastor is posted to a new station, the station renegotiates his salary downwards, like: ‘Sir, we know you’re on 60k, based on the church’s payment schedule, but our assembly is struggling financially, so what we can afford is 35k monthly.'”

Odoma recounted a particular case where a pastor, unwilling to accept a reduced salary, was replaced and left without a posting for a year, forcing him to return to his village.

 “I know a case where a pastor refused the reduced offer, and he was replaced by a more ‘understanding’ pastor, while he was told to go home, till there was a church open and willing to pay him his due rate. He ended up waiting a full year before he was posted again.”

He also addressed misconceptions about the financial status of pastors in Pentecostal churches, which are often thought to be wealthier.

 “I happen to know something about how church denominations, the majority of them, operate.

“ Most Protestant churches in Nigeria are not Pentecostal, and even Pentecostalism (which has now become popular) does not pay huge salaries. Or tell, on average, what is the monthly salary of a senior Pastor in a Pentecostal church in Nigeria?”

Odoma expressed his frustration with the generalization that pastoring is a lucrative business in Nigeria. “I am tired of hearing that ‘pastoring is a lucrative business in Nigeria.’ Even as a generalization, it is not true, because the overwhelming majority of our pastors are poor.”

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