Find Out All About The Trending Hallelujah Challenge

Have you heard about Nathaniel Bassey’s latest move? Just read on in case you haven’t.

If you are in Nigerian, conversant with happenings in the gospel music circle or frequent on the social media, then you must have come across the hashtags #HalleluyahChallenge or #Olowogbogboro making rounds.

Just in case you do not know, it is a midnight praise challenge tagged “The One-Hour Midnight Hallelujah Challenge’’ by renowned gospel musician, Nathaniel Bassey. Basically, believers gather on Insta Live to worship God in songs and pray.

The “Imela” crooner had on May 31 shared on his Instagram page, @nathanielblow, his desire to host a multi-denominational one-hour praise and worship live session from June 1 to June 30.

According to him, the “Hallelujah Challenge,’ is a 30-day midnight praise, set to lift the name of God and bring glory and salvation upon his people, as they exalt His holy name’’.

“This Hallelujah Challenge is inspired by the biblical story of Paul and Silas who got freedom from prison after they engaged in praise and worship to God,” Bassey said.

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The hashtag #Halleluyahchallenge was quickly attached to it and later on #Olowogbogboro a Yoruba word which means wide hands (a name often used to praise God) was also used to describe it.

It is the first of its kind and it has been a rousing success, judging by the skyrocketing numbers every night and the marvelous testimonies.

The Hallelujah Challenge started with a few hundred people joining but now, almost everyone is using the recognized hashtags.

As at Monday, June 12, the programme had 50,000 virtual worshippers in attendance via Nathaniel Bassey’s Instagram page and yesterday’s session, June 13, had almost 62,000 people in attendance.

The hashtag #HallelujahChallenge is trending on Twitter with 7,826 tweets as at June 12.

Celebrities including Funke Akindele-Bello, Don Jazzy, Omoni Oboli, Iceprince, Kcee,  Rita Dominic, Adesua Etomi, Uche Jombo, Paul Okoye, Wale Turner and AY have been taking part in it since it started.

Some of them have also been sharing the #hallelujahchallenge on their Instagram pages.

Reacting to the people’s testimonies rolling in since the commencement of the live worship, Bassey shared one of the comments on his Instagram page, saying, “These things are living proofs from a loving God.

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“He is doing things bigger than these personal breakthroughs; these are only signs of things being wrought in the earth. Hallelujah, @olowogbogboro” he said.

However, Nathaniel Bassey’s Hallelujah Challenge hasn’t been without criticism. Media personality, Joy Isi Bewaji shared her thoughts on the challenge saying the country cannot be fixed with just prayers and “this cute online revival will change nothing”.

Media personality, Joy Isi Bewaji shared her thoughts on the challenge saying the country cannot be fixed with just prayers and “this cute online revival will change nothing”.

Below is what she wrote on her Facebook page:

“#HallelujahChallenge will succeed bigly in Nigeria. That’s a given. Not a miracle.

Religion is the bedrock of our confidences and convictions.

Reinhard Bonnke succeeded in the 90s with his exaggerated revivals in Nigeria.

Adeboye succeeds every first Friday of the month, leaving travelers along Ibadan-expressway pulling out their hair (the irony of that situation: a god worshiping mission that makes people swear and curse in god’s name for hours of traffic they have to suffer just so a few can practice a religion).

Christ Embassy succeeded on Television. No ministry is yet to beat the hours dedicated to Oyakhilome’s theatrics.

Religion succeeds in Nigeria.

If I start a church today, it will succeed. Calling or no calling.

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Because we are not people given to anything apart from an obsession with things we cannot see or have any control over, whilst all that we see rot away and are destroyed by our innate corruption.

This cute online revival will change nothing; even if we gather half the numbers in Nigeria to spread their faith on third mainland bridge and cry out to God (apart from that good feeling that plasters your heart after belting out and sweating on a few hallelujah songs).

This is the era of knowledge. We are not Israelites under Moses. Salvation has come. Jesus has come and died. What else do you want?

We have had too many spiritual revolutions. What we need is a mental one.

You cannot pray Nigeria to greatness. It is impossible for God to move in a country where we allow our police to discard rape cases with the wave of a hand, and our politicians rob us blindly.

It is not up to God to save the rot in our educational institutions or fix the drainage on our roads. It’s up to us. And we can’t do any of that on our knees. We get shit done in 2017 by cerebral drudgery.

Religion is like soda. It’s Coca-cola. That drink isn’t going to save anything. It’s feel-good… and like Coke, we are addicted to this feel good process.

Every Sunday we go to church to get our feel-good tablet. Then we have to come out of that fix after a few hours and face the issues that have been haunting us for decades, still unsolved. Still in need of a different approach.

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Religion makes us vulnerable, self-centred and clearly delusional. It attacks our rational and coherent capacity.

Things are moving well in your life and a miracle occurred in your life and you finally got an answer to something that had been bugging you in your life because you prayed.

But your prayer doesn’t have the depth or promise to change the problem called Nigeria. Your little success is beautiful. But what does it matter when every part of the country you call home is a wreck.

If you have beautiful lips but your body is ravaged by cancer, what then does it count for – those beautiful lips?

#HallelujahChallenge will succeed bigly. That’s a given. Not a miracle.

Why then are y’all so surprised that you can gather 50,000 people online? Revivals are our biggest achievements. The most educated will bow to a man of God who couldn’t pass his WASSCE exams. It is why we are what we are.

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Stop being so shocked that people want to serve God. It is what we do. It is the only thing we do well. When we are done, we go back home and justify a paedophile, or delay the transaction of a debt, or bear false witness.

Or choose any of the 100,000 ways to live sinfully. Then the process continues the next Sunday. Like a dark cycle, like playing russian roulette, until your own dark faith and spinelessness kill you.

God, however, wants you to get your knees up and go challenge your Local government for a start. He wants you to write a petition and follow through in regard to Queens’ College. Or choose any 100,000 ways to fix your country.

Try #ScienceChallenge, a hashtag that hopes to promote facts through experiment and observation, and see how far that will go. It definitely will not get 50,000 people questioning why we, a people of over 170million, cannot produce our own malaria drugs.

Do you know if they close the borders of Nigeria we will all die? Over 90% of our daily needs are imported. Even toothpick.

“But prayer is the key. Smh.”

Another writer, political analyst and social activist, Ugonna Emechebe has responded to the above post.

He said:

“And so I saw a misguided and attention seeking rant copied by a Facebook friend where Nathaniel Bassey’s Hallelujah Challenge was being challenged.

“This ostentation induced rant over people who decide to give an hour of their time daily in praise and worship to God would have had a semblance of approbation if it proferred any sort of solution or if the attention seeker that came up with it intelligently attempted to point out how the Hallelujah Challenge was inimical to anyone’s efforts or life.

“You sit where you are without proposing a way out of the multiplicity of problems Nigeria faces other than mouthing off some vague thing about a Science Challenge nobody has stopped you from having but you badmouth the attempts of others to do something.

“Regardless of how simplistic you think a potential solution is if the person who brings it has noble intentions and has not impeded you in anyway then your attempts to disparage it are simply an exercise in stupidity.

“I know why some of such meaningless rants gain traction.
It’s a mishmash of an identity crisis, low self-esteem, the need to belong, and a herd mentality that makes people mouth such nonsense.

“Misotheism and extremist atheism are seen by some as characteristics of liberation and synonyms for “intelligence”, or at least its variant in Nigerian cyberspace, and so to be viewed as being remotely cerebral nowadays all one has to do is string a few meaningless words together on the keyboard and from the comfort of a home or office bash Christianity, pastors or churches while conveniently forgetting to extend the anti-religious stance to Islam.

“It’s open season on the Christian faith so when you join the bandwagon and talk enough crap some “freethinkers” will proclaim you the next Einstein and give you a medal for cyber courage.

“Feebleminded lot!”

What is your take on this? Is an hour or so of worship to our creator a total waste of time?

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