Home Christian News UPDATE: Televangelist’s Media Network Fined Again for the Same COVID Conspiracy Violations

UPDATE: Televangelist’s Media Network Fined Again for the Same COVID Conspiracy Violations

LoveWorld is another media network that has been penalized for statements it has promoted about COVID-19. LoveWorld USA is a network launched by televangelists Benny Hinn and Chris Oyakhilome. LoveWorld also has a branch in the United Kingdom, and U.K. communications regulator Ofcom has fined LoveWorld UK £125,000. Ofcom levied the fine on the grounds that the network was spreading misinformation about COVID-19,  including that the pandemic is the result of a conspiracy planned by the “deep state.” 

In this video of a Global Day of Prayer event the network held on Dec. 2, 2020, Oyakhilome said the virus is a “scam” and a “scheme to deceive.” He then introduced a clip in which a woman identified as Claire Edwards, a “United Nations editor and trainer in intercultural writing,” said that COVID-19 “was a long pre-planned in documents and simulation exercises emanating from the eugenicist Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation.” Edwards also said the “sinister vaccine conspiracy” was intended to “enslave humanity.” 

In a statement, Ofcom said that LoveWorld UK “risked serious harm” and “had the potential to undermine confidence in public health measures put in place to tackle COVID-19 – at a time when cases, hospital admissions and deaths were rising in the UK, and when people were looking for reliable information given advances in the vaccination programme.”

This week brings a legal victory in the U.K., however, for Samaritan’s Purse CEO and president Franklin Graham in regards to an evangelistic crusade he held in Blackpool, England, in September 2018. After British LGBTQ leaders complained about past comments Graham made about LGTBQ community, Blackpool Transit pulled bus advertisements promoting Graham’s event. Today, Judge Claire Evans ruled that pulling the bus advertisements had violated “freedom of expression.” 

“The Defendants had a wholesale disregard for the right to freedom of expression possessed by the Claimant,” said Evans. “It gave a preference to the rights and opinions of one part of the community without having any regard for the rights of the Claimant or those who shared its religious beliefs.”

Graham responded to the decision, saying, “We thank God for this ruling because it is a win for every Christian in the UK.”

Other recent legal battles involving church leaders include a pastor who wants to hold a vigil outside the U.S. Capitol on Good Friday. Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, is suing vice president Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Capitol Police Board, and the Sergeant of Arms for the Senate on the grounds that his First Amendment rights have been violated. 

According to court documents, Mahoney wanted to “hold a vigil for the express purpose of beseeching God’s healing from the divisiveness and anxiety lingering over our nation since the tragic events of January 6, 2021.”  The reverend says he has held many events at the Capitol’s Lower Western Terrace, but that the fences currently barricading the area have “effectively created a no- speech zone.” Mahoney’s case was heard in federal court today at 3:30 p.m. ET.