A Nigerian pastor had his YouTube channel blocked after preaching sermons in which he claimed to cure gays. And now he’s calling on his followers to “pray for YouTube”.
Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, a Christian megachurch in Lagos had a YouTube channel with more than 1.8 million subscribers and 600 million views.
In one of his YouTube videos which was watched more than 1.5 million times, a woman is seen being hit violently to “cure” her of her sexuality.
The UK-based website OpenDemocracy said it was behind the closure.
“In response to our enquiries about TB Joshua’s controversial exorcisms, YouTube terminated his channel,” it said on its website.
“Between 2016 and January 2020, the channel posted at least seven similar clips showing the charismatic Christian televangelist engaging in violent exorcism,” OpenDemocracy wrote.
“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.
YouTube says it “prohibits content which alleges that someone is mentally ill, diseased, or inferior because of their membership in a protected group including sexual orientation”.
But Pastor TB Joshua thinks YouTube acted in haste and said he has appealed its decision.
“We strongly oppose all forms of hate speech!” he wrote on Facebook. “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,” said Temitope Balogun Joshua, known as TB Joshua, in his Sunday service shared on Facebook.
The pastor has already gone and created a new YouTube channel which amassed almost 30,000 subscribers in its first 24 hours.