FOUR DIE AT HINN’S KENYA CRUSADE

Four people, including two young children, died while attending healing evangelist Benny Hinn’s crusade in Nairobi, Kenya, last May. The report from the Reuters news service said police told a local newspaper, the Kenya Times, that “the four had been released from a hospital to be cured at Benny Hinn’s ‘Miracle Crusade.’”

In addition to the four deaths, it was reported that “Ten other people suffered serious injuries including broken jaws after falling from trees they climbed to get a view of the American preacher.”

An earlier news article, which appeared in the Daily Nation, identified one of the deceased as Clondin Adhiambo, “an ailing four-month-old baby.” The infant was taken to Hinn’s meeting by her mother. The newspaper reported that according to police, “the baby’s condition worsened at the prayer venue and she was taken to MP Shah Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.”

The Reuters story noted that faith healing in Kenya has become a well-received enterprise. “Preachers promising miracle cures from ailments ranging from AIDS to blindness have become increasingly popular in recent years in Kenya, a country where health care is out of the reach of many ordinary people and living standards have been gradually falling for years,” the report stated.

Before the Kenya services, Hinn took publicity of his crusades to a new level. On several television broadcasts, he suggested that Jesus Christ would personally and physically appear at the Kenya meetings. However, such purported appearances apparently are not unheard of among Kenyans. The Kenya Times reported in its June 22, 1988, edition that about 6,000 worshipers at a Muslim village in Nairobi believed they saw Jesus Christ in broad daylight.

The newspaper described that a tall, white-robed, barefoot and bearded figure appeared at the Church of Bethlehem during a miracle prayer meeting conducted by spiritual healer Mary Sinaida Akatsa. The man believed to be Jesus left the meeting by car, but the driver later claimed he was instructed to stop the car at a bus terminal where the man got out “walked a few paces beside the road and simply vanished into thin air.” The Times article also identified the person claiming to be Jesus Christ as the Lord Maitreya. New Age guru Benjamin Creme stated that “Maitreya’s appearance was in keeping with the crowd’s expectations, as Jesus Christ, hence his bearded face and biblical robes.”

Despite Hinn’s hype of the crusade in early May, media coverage of the event was sparse. The limited coverage by the secular media appears to be a strategy orchestrated by Hinn’s ministry to control and filter crusade details. A reporter for the Daily Nation News told PFO that “there was minimal coverage as the local press were prevented from entering the crusade compounds.”

A freelance news writer in the United States told PFO that while Hinn’s organization permitted her to attend the Philadelphia Miracle Crusade (which was held a few weeks after the Kenya meetings), no cameras were allowed. The reporter was further instructed that she was forbidden to speak directly to anyone presented onstage as healed. Any details of those claiming to be healed were to come solely from Hinn’s crusade representatives.

—MKG

 

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For more information on the doctrine and practice of this controversial faith healer, see:
The Confusing World of Benny Hinn