South Africa’s Advertising Standards Association bans church’s healing claims

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South Africa’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the Christ Embassy church from airing its claims of faith healing following a complaint from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) advocates for increased access to treatment, care and support services for people living with HIV and campaigns to reduce new HIV infections.

TAC spokesperson Nathan Geffen said on Thursday that the claims were aired during the church’s regular early morning slot on e.tv on Sundays.

He said the church claimed to use faith healing to treat several diseases, including heart disease, and had run adverts on its website claiming to treat HIV/Aids.

“Quackery of this nature is not merely misleading. It is life-destroying,” he said.

He said TAC knew of a woman infected with extreme drug resistant TB who stopped taking her medication because she believed the church had cured her, and died, after infecting her own children with the disease.

Geffen also criticised e.tv for continuing to run Christ Embassy programming even after it was alerted to TAC’s concerns.

The controversial church intends to appeal, saying it was not going to make an apology for or backtrack on the belief in faith healing.

“It is one of the fundamental tenets of Christianity,” Sean Sim, an attorney acting for the church, said.

However, belief in — or practice of — faith healing is not among the essential doctrines of the Christian church.

View the ASA ruling
Media statement by TAC
Research resources on faith healing

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This post was last updated: Dec. 16, 2016