A respected pastor in Nigeria has hit out at the practice of tithing – which is when Christians give 10% of their earnings to the church.
Pastor Tunde Bakare told the BBC Yoruba service that it should not be compulsory.
Giving tithes is a controversial topic here in Nigeria and many churches compel members of their congregations to tithe, even though many people cannot afford to do so.
It is estimated that 80% of Nigerians live on less than $2 (£1.40) a day.
Pastor Bakare, who leads the popular Later Rain Assembly church in Lagos, did not mince his words:
Tithing is not compulsory. No-one should feel compelled to pay – no-one is holding a gun to their head.”
The words of the pastor, who is also a politician – he served as President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 elections won by Goodluck Jonathan – are likely to spark a fierce debate.
Churches where pastors are becoming fat and the members are growing lean, God will judge them.”