Fiji church wants Benny Hinn banned

Fiji Times/December 13, 2005

A church group has started a campaign to keep American evangelist Benny Hinn out of Fiji.

The Liberty Baptist Church says Mr Hinn's 'crusade' would place an extra financial burden on parents preparing for the start of the new school year.

Church pastor Navi Bola said they were concerned about Mr Hinn's record with the US Internal Revenue Service and the growing doubt over the veracity of his "miracle healing''.

Mr Bola distributed a media kit containing information about Mr Hinn to the 22 Cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Opposition leader Mahendra Chaudhry and the Leader of the House, Jonetani Kaukimoce.

"People will be sacrificing to go and see Benny Hinn and I know some people who are already arranging for buses," he said.

"He will come next year at a time when people will be preparing for school. I have some members of my church who only earn $70 a week.

"What a strain this could have on their families."

Pastor Bola said the US tax department would not investigate Mr Hinn for his religious works in Third World countries. He said such nations always fell prey to unscrupulous evangelists claiming they could perform miracles.

Mr Kaukimoce declined to comment on the matter because he could not ascertain the truth behind the "kit" provided by the Baptist Church.

"It will be better for me if there was an investigation held first before we could pass judgment," Mr Kaukimoce said.

Labour Minister Kenneth Zinck and Multi-Ethnic Affairs Minister George Raj said they had not received any letter from the church.

Pastor Bola doubts Mr Hinn's capabilities to heal people, saying he had material that could prove Mr Hinn's miraculous healings were not real.

"If Benny Hinn comes into Fiji we should take him straight to the CWM Hospital or even to the mortuary to heal those people who really need it most," he said.

The Baptist Church hopes government keep to its precedent and denies entry to Mr Hinn as his religious activities are as suspect as those of Unification Church founder, Dr Sun Moon.

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