Chris Oyakhilome messed with the wrong government and got sanctioned for it

Chris Oyakhilome

Chris Oyakhilome, Founder of Believer’s Loveworld, is back in the news. A few weeks ago, he was trending across Nigeria for incendiary comments where he insinuated that the global decision to institute restrictions to protect lives against the Coronavirus pandemic was little more than a smokescreen to allow ‘Illuminati’ driven governments to install 5G towers, which he alleged were causing the pandemic and an integral tool to bring about the end of days.

This kind of alarmist rhetoric is very common among Pentecostal pastors in Nigeria, where they are often only heard by their congregations. But with branches across the world, a 24-hour cable station, and nearly 12 million followers that directly follow his social media accounts and hang on to his every word; Pastor Chris Oyakhilome wields outsize influence.

We were quick to reprimand him for his statements, and the collective backlash he gained from his rhetoric forced him to change his tune in his videos, while he continued to push an online campaign through sponsored posts that he was right and he was being silenced. Eventually, he would directly accuse the Nigerian government of trying to censor religious leaders.

However, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome forgot one cardinal thing; his church is not just a Nigerian church anymore, where impunity is forgiven. His Church is also registered in the UK, with strict watchdogs who prevent religious and social organizations from spreading false news and propaganda, under which Oyakhilome’s theories clearly fall. As a result, Ofcom, the British regulatory body has sanctioned Oyakhilome for breaching broadcasting rules.

Perhaps, this is a lesson to all religious leaders, of all denominations. Words mean things, and punishment awaits for leaders who refuse to wield their authority responsibly.

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