A Nigerian preacher, TB Joshua, has called on his followers to “pray for YouTube” after the platform blocked his channel over allegations of hate speech against gay people. The founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, a Christian megachurch in Lagos, is one of Africa’s most influential preachers.
The alleged ‘Man of God’ boasts a large following on TV and social media. But last week, YouTube closed the pastor’s channel – with more than 1.8 million subscribers and 600 million views. The UK-based website OpenDemocracy said it was behind the closure. His video content which was watched 1.8 million times has previously featured the following:
– A woman was seen being hit violently to ‘cure’ her of her sexuality.
– The self-proclaimed ‘prophet’ states that a ‘homosexuality demon’ can possess both men and women.
– The pastor’s channel posted several clips showing of the televangelist engaging in ‘violent exorcisms’.
– TB Joshua prides himself on fraudulent ‘miracle’ and ‘resurrection’ ceremonies.
– A number of his videos contained anti-gay speeches, which the authorities say ‘constitutes hate speech’.
However, it doesn’t seem that these sanctions will stop the charismatic preacher in his tracks: He has an estimated fortune of several million dollars, according to Forbes, and has since opened a new YouTube channel, gaining almost 30 000 followers in little over 24 hours. Joshua posted a short, yet defiant statement to his Facebook page over the weekend:
“We strongly oppose all forms of hate speech! We have had a long and fruitful relationship with YouTube and believe this decision was made in haste.” “I want you to help me pray for YouTube…”