A United Kingdom-based media organisation, OpenDemocracy, has claimed responsibility for the closure of Pastor Temitope Joshua’s popular YouTube Channel, Emmanuel TV, which had over 1,800,000 subscribers and 600,000,000 views.
OpenDemocracy explained in an article that it reported TB Joshua’s activities, which included seven clips showing TB Joshua “engaging in exorcism to cure gay and lesbian congregants of their sexual orientation by casting out the demon of homosexuality.”
SaharaReporters had reported that YouTube suspended popular Christian television channel Emmanuel TV, owned by Pastor TB Joshua of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations.
Joshua himself disclosed this on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
He said the channel was suspended over a video said to contain hate speech.
“Emmanuel TV YouTube suspension: 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! We have had a long and fruitful relationship with YouTube and believe this decision was made in haste,” he had tweeted.
But in the OpenDemocracy article, author Kerry Cullinan explains how the American video-sharing site terminated Emmanuel TV “in response to our enquiries about TB Joshua’s controversial exorcisms.”
Cullinan acknowledged that in the clips, after the Nigerian cleric’s prayers, 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.
Joshua’s Facebook Page, which has over 5.6 million followers, remains active, although the company stated specific videos had been removed after OpenDemocracy’s queries.