“Pastor Robert is preaching today,” said a woman at the entrance to the 10,500-seat auditorium, where his flock must pass through airport-style security, complete with metal detectors and armed police. The buzz is for Robert Kayanja, the younger brother of the second most senior figure in the Anglican Church, John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.
Back in his native Uganda, Mr Kayanja has become one of the richest and most famous evangelical preachers . . . Mr Kayanja claims to be able to work miracles; indeed he describes himself as a “miracle baby” who would have died at birth along with his mother but for God’s intercession.
At his church in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, he has the delirious audience in the palm of his hand. “Say it’s gonna happen: in my clan, in my family, in my village, I’ll be the richest!”, he boomed. “In my community, in the name of Jesus, you are about to own estates!”
“You are about to own land! You are about to be the chief in the corporation! You are about to be on the top. Remember this: you are the head and not the tail!” . . . “Someone say ‘I am on a mission today, in the name of Jesus. I will dominate my field! I will be the smartest. I’ll be the most intelligent, I’ll prosper! I’ll be the most wise. I am rich! I am wise! I am the head! Hallelujah!” continued Mr Kayanja. “Oh lift up your hands and clap your hands to Jesus, my God. Wooh!”
Again and again, Mr Kayanja urged his flock in one of the world’s poorest countries to dig deep and donate to his church. “Just to let you know,” he announced, “we need 100,000 Euros (£80,000) to buy dishes and equipment for the satellite”. The idea was to launch a satellite TV channel to spread the word, a project Mr Kayanja hailed as “exciting, incredible, marvellous and supersonic”.
Anyone who donates will be rewarded, promised Mr Kayanja. “You might not have been born rich but you can be born again rich IN CHRIST ALONE,” he recently told his followers on Twitter.
What a charlatan.