YouTube suspends TB Joshua’s account over videos of him praying to ’cure’ gay people
Johannesburg - Online video-streaming platform YouTube has suspended the account of popular Nigerian TV evangelist TB Joshua over allegations of hate speech.
According to a BBC report, a rights body filed a complaint after reviewing at least seven videos showing the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.
The founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, a Christian mega-church in Lagos, is one of Africa’s most influential preachers and has a large following on television and social media.
UK-based Open Democracy filed a complaint after reviewing seven videos posted on TB Joshua Ministries’ YouTube channel between 2016 and 2020 that show the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.
According to Open Democracy, between 2016 and January 2020 the channel posted at least seven similar clips, showing the charismatic Christian televangelist engaging in violent exorcism to “cure” gay and lesbian congregants of their sexual orientation by casting out “the demon of homosexuality”.
Last week, YouTube closed the pastor’s channel, which has more than 1.8 million subscribers and 600 million views.
On Sunday, Joshua took to Facebook and called on his followers to “pray for YouTube” after the platform blocked his channel over allegations of hate speech against LGBT people.
He also posted a video on YouTube as an official response to the suspension of his channel by the streaming platform.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Joshua said: “This is the time we should expect this. Whatever we are going through is to prepare us for the future. What does the future say? That is the question. If you want to be strong, you need hard times to be strong.”
Joshua went on to say that their struggle makes them stronger and called on his followers to take every response to God.
“Every response, take it for prayer. The channel we are talking about, Emmanuel TV, is a heavenly channel. This is not a worldly channel,” he said.