US pastor accused of being 'Jesus imposter' after visit to Africa goes viral
It was depicted as a “Jesus visits Kenya” event. A man with long, flowing blonde hair, a goatee and wearing a white robe emerged on a stage as thousands of Kenyans cheered.
But what was supposed to be an American pastor pretending to be Jesus ended up stirring controversy in Africa, where the clergyman was accused of being an “imposter” and a “fake.” Some people claim the event was trumpeted as a return of Christ.
Michael Job, an ordained minister who runs Jesus Loves You Evangelistic Ministries in Florida, said on Facebook said he was in Kenya for a nine-day crusade “where many people were saved and healed.” He said he is still in Kenya preaching in schools.
But somehow, his visit went viral in Africa. He became known as #fakeJesus, which became a trending topic on social media in Africa.
“A Kenyan pastor claims he has found Jesus Christ walking on the streets of Kenya. Took the whiteman[sic] to his church, gave him a warm welcome and now his church followers are happy that Jesus has finally come back!” one person wrote on Twitter.
But Job defended his visit, suggesting everything was a big misunderstanding.
“Some people, known as "internet trolls," have made false reports about me claiming to be Jesus, Jesus' second coming starting in Kenya, me being found and worshipped in churches, and me being deported with pastors from the country,” he said. “All of which are ‘fake news.’"
Organizers have insisted they never meant to try and fool anyone. Others defended the visit.
"This guy was advertised as Michael Job from USA. He is an actor &an evangelist. He is even there on Facebook asking for prayers for his crusades," one person wrote. "The Jesus claims are fake, bye bye."
Job did not return a message seeking comment.