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American TV evangelists
marymary100 - 6-9-2013 at 16:19

are a bit of a rum lot

Mission Congo, by David Turner and Lara Zizic, opens at the Toronto film festival on Friday. It describes how claims about the scale of aid to Rwandan refugees were among a number of exaggerated or false assertions about the activities of Operation Blessing which pulls in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in donations, much of it through Robertson's televangelism. They include characterising a failed large-scale farming project as a huge success, and claims about providing schools and other infrastructure.

But some of the most damaging criticism of Robertson comes from former aid workers at Operation Blessing, who describe how mercy flights to save refugees were diverted hundreds of miles from the crisis to deliver equipment to a diamond mining concession run by the televangelist.

Throughout the Rwandan refugee crisis, when more than 1 million people fled into neighbouring Zaire and started dying en masse of cholera, Robertson told his viewers that Operation Blessing was at the forefront of saving lives.

"It was the most important first medical shipment on the scene out of everything," he said of one aid delivery as he appealed for donations.
In another broadcast, Robertson said Operation Blessing was saving thousands of lives.

"The death toll in this particular camp went down to almost zero because of our people being there," he said.

Robertson claimed that Operation Blessing sent plane-loads of doctors.

"These are tents set up with our doctors and our medical teams that came from here to work as hard as they could to save lives," Robertson said over pictures of a large tent of children on drips being tended by nurses and doctors.

But the film was of MSF medical staff at work. Operation Blessing had just one tent and a total of seven doctors. MSF officials who worked in Goma told the documentary-makers that they had no recollection of even seeing Operation Blessing let alone working with it.

"What's really unacceptable is that Operation Blessing took photographs of MSF workers and then used this in their fundraising," said Samantha Bolton, the former MSF spokeswoman in Goma.

Redwolf5150 - 6-9-2013 at 16:38



Well, a HINT might be the reception he gave the moneychangers in the temple, but I'm just guessing here.

What with no living witnesses to what The Christ did or did not do that day.

It's crap like this that makes it REAL hard for me to take ANY "Christian" religion seriously anymore. All they do is put their hands out to enrich themselves, IMHO.

... just saying.

Katzy - 6-9-2013 at 21:10

The Roman church don't set a good example, either.

They're one of the richest institutions on the planet.

They don't worry about needles and Camels, it would seem...

LSemmens - 7-9-2013 at 00:48

There are many things done "In the name of God" that God has no part in. "Be sure that your sins will find you out" springs to mind.

scholar - 7-9-2013 at 02:58

Television ministry operations are a varied group. Sadly, some people unjustly form an opinion or expectation of the whole group based on the shortcomings of some. This can be especially unjust when one person is blamed for actions of others in the organization, in which the decisions about finances are usually made by a board of directors.

Misrepresentations (e.g. the pictures of others shown while speaking of ministry doctors)ought to be publicly corrected as soon as the people in the ministry become aware of them.

I do know of others who have been much better examples of Christian service and use of finances. Rick Warren does not have a regularly scheduled program (to my knowledge), but has appeared many times on television. After he had some success as an author, he stopped drawing any salary, and returned the money from the 25 years of salary that he had previously earned. He now gives 90% of his personal income to Christian ministries.

Dr. Charles Stanley has programs on both radio and television, and is also an author. I have never heard him push for donations.

One kind of fund-raising that I despise: those who say that people giving to their ministry will get repaid more, by God, than they send--so that poor people who trust them think they can advance themselves financially by giving donations that they really need to pay their own bills.