UPDATE: UK Based Media Organisation Claims Responsibility For Suspension of Emmanuel TV’s YouTube Channel

After the sudden suspension of Pastor TB Joshua’s popular YouTube Channel Emmanuel TV, with over 1.8 million subscribers and 600 million views, a UK-based media organisation, openDemocracy, has claimed responsibility for the suspension stating that “the charismatic Christian televangelist engaged in exorcism to ‘cure’ gay and lesbian congregants of their sexual orientation by casting out ‘the demon of homosexuality’.”

Pastor Joshua, Founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, had earlier announced the ban via the church Twitter handle, refuting the allegations of “Hate Speech”.

He wrote: “Our mission is to share the love of God with everyone – irrespective of race or religion – and we strongly oppose all forms of hate speech.”

In the description of the video which triggered the suspension, the cleric stated: “God hates sin, not sinners. When the Bible says, ‘Do not judge so that you will not be judged’, it means we should hate sin, not the sinner because sinners can change… We should hate the act, not the people because our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the ‘spirit beings’ that cause all these acts.”

In an article published on its website, titled: “YouTube closes African channel promoting televangelist’s violent conversion therapy,” Kerry Cullinan explained how the American video-sharing site terminated Emmanuel TV “in response to our enquiries about TB Joshua’s controversial exorcisms”.

According to the report, the channel posted at least seven clips showing the cleric’s attempt ‘cure’ people of their sexual orientation as the individuals concerned all testified that they no longer experienced same-sex attraction.

“YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit hate speech and we remove flagged videos and comments that violate these policies. In this case we have terminated the channel,” a YouTube spokesperson told openDemocracy after they reported Joshua to the social media giant.

openDemocracy, which describes itself as an “independent global media organisation” whose projects include championing “women’s and LGBTIQ voices”, also revealed they reported Joshua’s activities to Facebook and DStv, which hosts Emmanuel TV on satellite in Africa.

Pastor Joshua’s Facebook Page, which has over 5.6 million followers, remains active although the company stated certain videos had been removed after openDemocracy’s queries.

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