YouTube has suspended the account of influential Nigerian TV evangelist TB Joshua over allegations of hate speech.
A rights body filed a complaint after reviewing at least seven videos showing the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.
Facebook has also removed at least one of the offending posts showing a woman being hit while TB Joshua says he is casting out a “demonic spirit”.
The preacher said he was appealing against YouTube’s decision.
His YouTube account had 1.8 million subscribers.
TB Joshua is one of Africa’s most influential evangelists, with top politicians among his followers.
UK-based openDemocracy filed a complaint after reviewing seven videos posted on TB Joshua Ministries’ YouTube channel between 2016 and 2020, which show the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.
“YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit hate speech and we remove flagged videos and comments that violate these policies. In this case we have terminated the channel,” a YouTube spokesperson told openDemocracy.
YouTube added that it “prohibits content which alleges that someone is mentally ill, diseased, or inferior because of their membership in a protected group including sexual orientation,” the rights group said.
A post on TB Joshua Ministries Facebook account said: “We have had a long and fruitful relationship with YouTube and believe this decision was made in haste.”
A quick guide to TB Joshua:
- Founded Synagogue, Church of All Nations in the 1990s
- Runs Christian television station Emmanuel TV
- The ministry professes to heal all manner of illnesses
- Controversially this includes HIV/Aids
- Known as the “Prophet” by his followers
- Often tours Africa, the US, the UK and South America