Christianity in General
- Frankline Ndifor, 39, has died after a week-long battle with coronavirus at home
- Candidate for the Cameroon 2018 presidential election was known as ‘prophet’
- Diagnosed coronavirus sufferers went to Ndifor to be healed from the illness
- ‘Lay his hands on’ infected supporters and claimed to cure the infectious disease
May 22, 2020
No comment from FuckThePope.
Frankline Ndifor, 39, a candidate in the central African state of Cameroon’s presidential election in 2018, claimed to cure Covid-19.
In previous weeks sufferers had flocked to the Kingship International Ministries Church, founded by Ndifor, where he lay his hands on them and prayed for their healing, reported Voice of America News.
His supporters called him a ‘prophet’ and blocked the entrance to his home in the capital city of Douala for eight hours as medical staff tried to retrieve Ndifor’s body on Saturday morning.
Dr Gaelle Nnanga, who was called to treat Ndifor after he started suffering severe respiratory difficulties a week after falling ill with the virus, said the pastor died ten minutes after treatment.
The Governor of the coastal region said a police force had to be deployed when supporters blocked the entrance to his home and claimed the pastor was on a spiritual retreat with God so could not be buried.
May 22m 2020
Morningside USA was supposed to be apocalypse-proof.
A gated, stucco fortress in the southwest corner of Missouri’s Ozark mountains, Morningside is an evangelical Christian community built to rent condos right through the end of the world.
Morningside is the name of Bakker’s Christian broadcasting empire, as well as the Missouri residential community from which he broadcasts. But it’s mostly made news in recent weeks because of its founder’s legal woes: various government agencies have accused Bakker of promoting a fake COVID-19 miracle cure.
So what does the coronavirus pandemic look like in this temple of survival? According to interviews with people who have recently lived, worked, and spent time there, pretty much the same waking nightmare as everywhere else: mixed efforts at social distancing, layoffs, and reported shortages of everyday supplies as COVID-19 ravages the country.
A former Morningside employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she hoped to return to her job as the pandemic eased said she was among a wave of layoffs as the community entered lockdown in late March.
“They were running out of supplies they had stocked up on when I was leaving there,” said the former employee, who argued Bakker was being vilified in the media.
Neither Morningside nor a Bakker representative returned requests for comment for this story.
The story of Morningside’s development involves two failed historical theme parks and two dozen criminal charges. Bakker, now 80, was a star of the 1980s televangelist scene and even expanded into a biblical theme park until feds convicted him of an elaborate scheme to illegally skim millions off the amusement park. A former church secretary also accused him of sexually assaulting her and buying her silence, although he claimed to have only had consensual extramarital sex with her, and was never charged.
Twenty-four convictions on fraud and conspiracy charges in the amusement park scandal and four years in prison later, Bakker was released from lockup in 1994. By 2003, he’d returned to broadcast ministry, this time with an eye on the end-times. He preached the apocalypse and used a loophole in non-profit law to hawk survivalist gear like supposed health supplements and giant buckets of shelf-stable food.
“Imagine,” one of Bakker’s emergency food ads said, “the world is dying and you’re having a breakfast for kings.” (Because his ministry is technically a nonprofit, Bakker does not “sell” his goods; he offers them as “love gifts” to people who make specific donations, like $4,500 for a “Peace of Mind Final Countdown” bundle that contained 31,000 servings of food in a variety of buckets.)
In 2008, he opened Morningside, a church complex/Christian broadcast studio/evangelical utopia on the former site of a follower’s Renaissance faire-themed amusement park. It was the ultimate survivalist sales pitch: Bakker claimed it could withstand an imminent apocalypse, and offered a variety of dwellings onsite. Higher-end homes included condos overlooking a shopping mall-like central meeting area, which also featured a chapel, a General Store, a cafe, and a 15-foot statue of Jesus.
May 22, 2020
HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS. (AP) — A church in Mississippi was destroyed by a suspected arson fire, about a month after its pastor filed a lawsuit challenging the city of Holly Springs on gathering restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak.
First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, Mississippi, burned down Wednesday morning, news outlets reported. When investigators from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office got to the scene, they found graffiti in the church parking lot that read: “Bet you stay home now you hypokrites.”
“We’ve kind of racked our brains and we have no idea,” Jerry Waldrop, the pastor of the church, said. “No enemies that we know of. We don’t know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this.”
May 8, 2020
The disgraced holy roller is battling the state of Missouri and a new class-action lawsuit seeking to ban him from peddling a bogus cure for coronavirus and HIV.
Televangelist Jim Bakker is fighting the state of Missouri—and now a class-action lawsuit—for the right to continue peddling a phony COVID-19 “cure.”
The Missouri Attorney General sued the 80-year-old Bakker to stop him and his company from promoting and selling Silver Solution, a product his TV show falsely claimed could cure coronavirus, HIV, SARS, and other illnesses.
On Monday, Bakker filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of First Amendment and religious freedom. That filing included a declaration from one of Bakker’s employees, who said the TV pastor feels “divinely inspired” to bring the silver mixture to the masses.
But Bakker is also battling a class-action lawsuit over his sale of the concoction, The Daily Beast has learned. The complaint, filed in late March by Missouri resident Ronnie Karin, accuses Bakker and his Morningside Church Productions of common law fraud, unjust enrichment and of violating consumer protection laws.
Karin said he purchased Silver Solution from December 2019 through March 2020 after Bakker’s TV show claimed the product could treat not only COVID-19, but also SARS, H1N1, and cold and flu symptoms.
“It makes it all the more egregious,” Tim Dollar, a lawyer for Karin, told The Daily Beast. “You have a situation where a product is already on the market and you seem to pivot its use to whatever the fear is, regardless of the scientific evidence.”
Karin relied on the bottle’s “all natural” and “clinically tested” labels. But, according to his lawsuit, “Silver Solution cannot treat or cure any disease, has not been clinically tested for its capacity to do so, and is not ‘all natural.’”
The Silver Solution bottle indicates it’s made of purified silver (50 mcg per 1 teaspoon serving) and deionized water, which Karin’s lawsuit claims is not “all natural” because it is “artificially created through a process of distillation or reverse osmosis.”
In answer to the lawsuit, Bakker’s legal team denied Karin’s accusations and said his claims are barred in part by the First Amendment. Reached by The Daily Beast, the lawyers declined to comment on Karin’s complaint.
April 15, 2020
Oh, the irony!
A pastor who vowed to continue preaching through the coronavirus pandemic, or until he was “in jail or the hospital”, has now died of the coronavirus.
Bishop Gerald Glenn, the pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Virginia, died on Saturday night.
He becomes the latest Virginian evangelical preacher to fall victim to the coronavirus following the death of Landon Spradlin, who allegedly caught the virus at Mardi Gras after decrying media “hysteria” about the dangers of the disease.
During a sermon on March 22, Bishop Glenn told a church audience in Virginia that he was not afraid of the coronavirus.
“I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus,” the pastor told his congregation.
Pastor who said his congregation would ‘rather die than miss church’ to hold Easter service with 1,000 people
April 12, 2020
What could possibly go wrong?
The pastor who said his congregation would rather die than not go to church plans to hold an Easter service this weekend — with 1,000 people.
Tony Spell, of the Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has refused to stop his services amid the coronavirus pandemic, despite the state’s public health ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
Tony Spell, of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has repeatedly defied Gov. John Bel Edward’s executive order banning gatherings of 10 or more people
Tony Spell, of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has repeatedly defied Gov. John Bel Edward’s executive order banning gatherings of 10 or more peopleCredit: AFP or licensors
He was even arrested and charged with six misdemeanor counts of violating Gov. John Bel Edward’s orders.
Spell recently told TMZ: “They say everybody’s going to get it. … Then if everybody’s going to get it, let’s get on with life.”
The pastor, who also claims his services cure cancer and HIV, said no “dictator law” should keep people from worshipping God.
But despite the law and outcry, Spell plans to host an Easter Sunday service that’s expected to draw more than 1,000 people, according to the news outlet.
When asked about the possibility one of his worshippers dies from the coronavirus, Spell said they would welcome death like a ‘friend’
On Palm Sunday, when Louisiana had at least 13,000 cases of the virus, with 477 deaths, Spell again held services.
He told worshippers they had “nothing to fear but fear itself.”
“They would rather come to church and worship like free people than live like prisoners in their homes,” Spell told reporters.
Reuters reported that 26 buses were sent to worshippers to transport them to the Life Tabernacle Church, and according to a lawyer for Spell, everyone in the congregation, aside from immediate family, maintained a distance of six feet.
April 2, 2020
Religious Ignorance Kills: Landon Spradlin, a Virginia pastor who claimed the “mass hysteria” around the coronavirus pandemic was part of a media plot against Trump, has died from the virus.
Landon Spradlin’s family never got to say goodbye.
The 66-year-old father and husband from Virginia died due to complications from COVID-19 on Wednesday morning in North Carolina.
While on the way home from a mission trip, Spradlin collapsed and was taken to a hospital in Concord, North Carolina. He was eventually put on a ventilator as his condition worsened.
According to reports, Spradlin, a 66-year-old Christian “musical evangelist,” fell ill while on a missionary trip to New Orleans with his wife.
Friendly Atheist reports Spradlin went to New Orleans to “wash it from its Sin and debauchery.”
On his Facebook page Spradlin shared a misleading meme attempting to minimize COVID-19, comparing the virus to the swine flu, and suggesting that the response to the coronavirus pandemic was media created “mass hysteria” to damage Trump:
Spradlin also shared a post from a pastor claiming that a missionary in South Africa “protected” himself from the bubonic plague with the “Spirit of God.” A quote from the post reads:
As long as I walk in the light of that law [of the Spirit of life], no germ will attach itself to me.
The stupid, it kills.
‘If You’re Carrying The Virus, We Declare You Healed In Jesus’ Name’: Pennsylvania Pastor Holds Services Despite Outbreak, Says Coronavirus Is Of Demonic Origin
March 26, 2020
WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — A Westmoreland County pastor held church services over the weekend as the coronavirus continues to spread in the state.
Word of Life Church Senior Pastor Tom Walters is facing criticism after holding the services at the church’s Hempfield Township facility.
“There’s a lot of people that are criticizing us, but most of them don’t come to our church,” Walters said during the service.
The Sunday meeting saw more than 100 congregants show up.
The pastor’s sermon focused on the coronavirus, saying the virus is of demonic origin.
“If there is one person, or two people, three people who may be carrying the coronavirus, we declare you healed in Jesus’ name,” Walters said in his sermon.
KDKA went to the church on Monday, but no one came to the door.
The sermon was live-streamed and is available on the church’s website.
VThe decision to hold services went against health and governmental officials’ warnings of public gatherings.
Many on the church’s Facebook page took issue with Walters’ choice to preach instead of just keeping the doors closed.
“You’re not spreading God’s word, you’re spreading this virus,” one critic said.
On Monday afternoon, the church issued a statement apologizing for holding services.
The church says it will keep its doors closed but will continue live-streaming the services.
March 14, 2020
One prominent televangelist would like people to believe that coronavirus can be cured through your TV set, so long as that television is tuned into his show.
Texas-based Evangelical preacher Kenneth Copeland — his right hand dripping with ointment — urged believers to put their hands on their screens and be cured of the coronavirus, for which there is no known remedy.
Video of the 83-year-old preacher’s program was tweeted Thursday by the group Right Wing Watch. It showed him conducting the alleged healing ritual.
March 14, 2020
A popular televangelist was recently issued a cease and desist order by the New York attorney general to stop promoting his cure-all product as a cure for the highly-contagious Covid-19 coronavirus strain.
The last thing you would expect a holy man to do is promote a fake cure against a potentially deadly disease to desperate people for profit, and yet, that’s allegedly exactly what Rev. Jim Bakker has been doing. To be fair, Bakker had long been peddling his “Silver Solution” – a scientifically unproven medication made from the precious metal – as a cure for all sorts of ailments, but when he included the rapidly-spreading Covid-19 coronavirus strain to the list of curable diseases, authorities stepped in.
The “last straw” as it were, was Bakker’s February 12 TV show, where he asked one of his guests, a naturopathic doctor, if his Silver Solution, which is sold via his website, could do what doctors and scientists around the world have been struggling to do for over three months now – cure Covid-19.
“It hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it’s been tested on other strains of the coronavirus, and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours. Totally eliminates it, kills it, deactivates it and then it boosts your immune system,” naturopath Sherrill Sellman answered, while Bakker interjected, “yeah, yeah”.
March 6, 2020
He did this for 20+ years before there was an outcry?
A “feared” pastor who raped children in a bogus religious ceremony over a 20-year period has been jailed.
Self-styled prophet Michael Oluronbi was found guilty in January of offences against six women and a man. Five of those attended his church.
He carried out his attacks by convincing his victims to take part in a “spiritual bathing” ritual, which he told them would “cleanse” them of evil spirits.
Judge Sarah Buckingham, sentencing him to 34 years behind bars, said his case was “one of the worst cases of sexual abuse of multiple children to come before the courts” and described him as an “arrogant, selfish and vain man”.
She said the “spiritual baths” were actually designed to “fulfil (his) insatiable sexual appetite”.
“The children feared you and this enabled you to continue your grip,” she said, sentencing Oluronbi on Friday.
“Your offending has had an extreme and severe impact on all of your complainants.
He“You abused your position of trust – they trusted you like God.”
In statements read to the court by the prosecution, one of the victims said Oluronbi’s actions made her “question if my life was worth living”.
Oluronbi, who had blamed the devil for his actions, was convicted of 15 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault, at Birmingham Crown Court.
Oluronbi’s wife Juliana was also convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape and helping arrange some of the abortions of his victims, with some becoming pregnant multiple times. She was jailed for 11 years.
As a pharmacist, he would take them to clinics to end the pregnancies.
During the trial, the jury was told how Oluronbi was linked to a Christian church in Birmingham, where he formed a splinter group for about 40 adults and children, separate to the church and in another location.
In that group, he had the victims take part in “spiritual bathing”.
During the trial, Phil Bradley QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “The main tactic he employed was to claim that God had instructed him to administer ‘holy baths’ to some of his congregation in order to ‘cleanse’ them and protect them from evil influences.
March 4, 2020