The Office of Communications (Ofcom) in the United Kingdom has fined a television station, Loveworld Loveworld Television Network, owned by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
A statement released by the agency on Wednesday said the station was fined £125,000 (N65.6m) for breaching the country’s broadcasting code by disseminating misinformation on COVID-19.
According to Ofcom, it was the second time that the station breached its rules on accuracy in news, and harm in its coverage of the Coronavirus.
Ofcom noted that the inaccurate and potentially harmful claims made during the programme were unsupported by any factual evidence and went entirely without challenge.
The statement read in part, “Ofcom has imposed a financial penalty of £125,000 on Loveworld Limited after a programme broadcast on its religious service Loveworld Television Network featured inaccurate and potentially harmful claims about the Coronavirus without providing adequate protection for viewers.
“Ofcom considered these breaches to be serious, repeated and reckless, warranting the imposition of a statutory sanction beyond the direction to broadcast a statement of our findings that Ofcom issued in its decision published 15 January 2021.
“Ofcom’s investigation found that the 29-hour programme, Global Day of Prayer, included statements claiming that the pandemic is a “planned” event created by the “deep state” for nefarious purposes, and that the vaccine is a “sinister” means of administering “nanochips” to control and harm people.
“Some statements claimed that fraudulent testing had been carried out to deceive the public about the existence of the virus and the scale of the pandemic. Others linked the cause of Covid-19 to the rollout of 5G technology.”
Recall that the founder of Love World Ministries, aka Christ Embassy, had berated other pastors who are asking their church members to take a jab of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a sermon delivered which was shared on his church’s YouTube channel, Oyakhilome lamented how ministers of the gospel became ministers of the vaccine.
The cleric, who had claimed that the virus was caused by the 5G network, asked pastors should channel the belief they have in the vaccine to the word of God which made them healers.
He said pastors have now forgotten about the God they serve to the point of leading God’s people into a belief in vaccines.