YouTube shuts down Nigerian megachurch preacher's channel for 'gay curing' claims
April 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Nigerian pastor TB Joshua speaks during a New Year's memorial service for the South African relatives of those killed in a building collapse at his Lagos megachurch on December 31, 2014. A spokesman at Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) said 44 South Africans have flown to Lagos to attend the ceremony following the September disaster which killed 116 people, including 81 South Africans. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)
A popular Nigerian televangelist has urged his followers to "pray for YouTube" for shutting down his account after he posted videos on his channel claiming to 'cure' gay members of his congregation of their sexuality.
Abuja, Nigeria (CNN)A popular Nigerian televangelist has urged his followers to "pray for YouTube" for shutting down his account after he posted videos on his channel claiming to 'cure' gay members of his congregation of their sexuality.
We need to be strong," T. B. Joshua said in a sermon posted on the ministry's Facebook page at the weekend.
The YouTube channel of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) -- run by Joshua -- was deactivated last week and can no longer be viewed by its nearly two million subscribers.
OpenDemocracy, a media rights group based in the UK, told CNN that it sent a message to YouTube on April 8 asking if the conversion therapy videos did not violate its policies.
In one video, T. B. Joshua slapped a woman and her partner whom he called her 'second' (partner) at least 16 times," said Lydia Namubiru, OpenDemocracy's Africa Editor.
"He said he was casting the 'spirit of woman' out of her," Namubiru said as she narrated the content of the footage flagged to YouTube and Facebook by her organization.
The woman later told Joshua that she no longer felt affection for her partner because of his intervention, Namubiru said.
CNN saw an email sent to OpenDemocracy on April 13 by a YouTube spokesperson who stated: "YouTube's Community Guidelines prohibits hate speech and we remove flagged videos and comments that violate these policies.
In a statement posted on Facebook last week, T. B. Joshua Ministries said it would appeal the decision by YouTube to suspend its channel.
The Lagos-based megachurch also called on millions of its followers to protest on social media -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube -- against YouTube's action.
Reacting to Joshua's doctrinal methods, a spokesman for the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), an umbrella body of Christian groups in the country, told CNN that the association "does not interfere in how churches are run or how individuals operate their worship centers. "
The YouTube sanction poses a big blow to Joshua, whose ministrations and humanitarian outreaches in different parts of the world are showcased on the popular video platform.