Despite making pejorative remarks about Africa, US President Donald Trump has attracted a devout following among some Christians on the continent.
“Pray for him [Trump] because when God places any of his children in a position, hell sometimes would do everything to destroy that individual,” said Nigerian Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, a prominent televangelist, in a sermon in June.
He has also warned that critics of the Republican president, who is seeking re-election in November, dislike his supporters.
“They are angry at Trump for supporting Christians, you better know it. So the real ones that they hate are you who are Christians,” said the pastor, whose broadcasts are popular around the world, including in the US.
President Trump has been a polarising figure the world over but he is popular in African countries like Nigeria and Kenya, according to a Pew Research poll released in January, where supporters do not appear to be bothered that he reportedly referred to African countries as “shitholes” in 2018.
Both Nigeria and Kenya are deeply religious countries. Mega churches proliferate in the Christian south of Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation – and in Kenya many politicians go to church sermons to address their supporters, such is their popularity.