The holy name of Jesus is reportedly trending in social media a few hours after Nigerian singer and Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastor Nathaniel Bassey challenged netizens to do so.
Naija News reported that Gospel-songwriter Nathaniel Bassey posted a challenge to the public on his WhatsApp account on Tuesday to use their various social media platforms in sharing the name Jesus. The challenge came two days after gunmen attacked the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State while a Holy Mass was ongoing on Pentecost Sunday. The attack left more than 50 worshippers dead, who are mostly women and children.
Bassey, who recently released the album “Jesus, The Resurrection And The Life,” instructed his 1.3 million Twitter and 2.6 million Instagram followers, as per Kemi Filani News, to change their social media accounts’ profile pictures with the photo he posted bearing the name of Jesus in red, all-capitalized letters.
The media outlet said the father of two has led Nigerians to shut down social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp because of his challenge. Millions of fans and Gospel lovers reportedly shut down the platforms by abiding by the Nigerian music minister’s instructions. Netizens also made #Jesus trend online.
“Can we Make this picture our profile picture and tweet at 12 noon? Let’s release this precious ointment over our land and nation. JESUS,” Bassey tweeted.
Bassey then quoted from the Song of Solomon 1:3 on God’s name being an ointment poured for healing. The singer immediately changed his Twitter profile photo with the JESUS photo and posted a series of tweets using the same.
“JESUS ! UNAPOLOGETICALLY! JESUS ! IN CAPITAL LETTERS!” Bassey stressed in his last tweet.
While in his Instagram account, Bassey revealed he is posing the challenge so that the world would ask “what is going on. and we’ll tell them–JESUS IS GOING ON!” The music minister even asked followers to tag others so that Jesus’ “fragrance” would spread across Nigeria in an effort of cleansing the atmosphere from the grief brought by Sunday’s massacre. He expressed hopes that the fragrance would go beyond the borders of Nigeria into all “the nations of the earth.”
Several pastors joined in his challenge including Newsweek’s 2008 Top 50 Influential People Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Deeper Christian Life Ministry Worldwide Founder and General Superintendent Pastor William Kumuyi. Both pastors used Bassey’s photo in their posts with Adeboye pointing to Jesus as “the name above every other name” and Kumuyi stressing that Jesus is the only message.
Adeboye, in an interview with Independent, said he believes Jesus’ name can change Nigeria’s current state for good. This is why he shared it, he said.
In addition, Nigerian Entertainment Today highlighted that Bassey’s challenge resulted in 500 posts and 500,000 impressions within two hours. The entertainment outlet stressed that the challenge took place exactly five years after Bassey made a similar challenge for his online concert through the hashtag “Hallelujah Challenge.”
The singer’s challenge seemed to be prophetic for it has crossed platforms and gone beyond social media. His recent post on Instagram showed a TikTok video showing digital billboards in Nigeria similarly flashing an identical image of the red all-capitalized letters of “Jesus.”
Not all people are happy with Bassey’s challenge. The pastor was reportedly condemned nationally and internationally. Among those who bashed him is Romanian-Nigerian broadcaster Daddy Freeze who raised that Jesus can’t bring peace to Nigeria, which has been beset with violence for six decades. Freeze also taunted the Name of Jesus, stating that the “Jesus” is a European name since the Jewish alphabet does not have a letter “J” in it. He said the name was “invented 400 circa years ago.”
Reporting from Christianity Daily.