United Kingdom Government has slammed a £125,000 fine on Loveworld TV channel, owned by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, for airing conspiracy theories about COVID-19.
On December 1, 2020, the television channel broadcast a 29-hour programme tagged ‘The Global Day of Prayer,’ making several unfounded claims about the Coronavirus.
These claims included the outbreak was ‘planned,’ the ‘sinister’ vaccine can be used to implant ‘nanochips’ that can control and cause harm to members of the public and that the virus was somehow caused by 5G.
Following a detailed investigation by Ofcom, the communications regulatory body in the United Kingdom, it was concluded that the programme breached broadcasting rules by sharing ‘potentially harmful’ claims about COVID19.
This marks the second time in a year that Ofcom has petitioned Loveworld for making unsubstantiated statements about Coronavirus.
In its statement, Ofcom concluded Loveword’s breach of broadcasting guidelines were ‘serious, repeated and reckless.
The broadcasting authority said that the TV channel posed a risk of ‘serious harm’ to viewers who tuned in to watch the programme.
”Loveworld’s failure to put these unsubstantiated statements into context risked serious harm to its audience,’’ the statement said.
Ofcom added that the religious channels had the ‘potential to make people question the measures put in place to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
”They had the potential to undermine confidence in public health measures put in place to tackle COVID19 at a time when cases, hospital admissions and deaths were rising in the UK, and when people were looking for reliable information given advances in the vaccination programme,” Ofcom statement read.
Pastor Oyakhilome has repeatedly expressed doubts about the COVID19 pandemic. Recently, he criticised Christian leaders for encouraging their members to take the COVID-19 vaccine.