British media regulator Ofcom has imposed sanctions against a channel founded by Nigerian megachurch preacher Chris Oyakhilome for airing “unsubstantiated claims” linking 5G to the coronavirus pandemic.
The regulator said while it does not oppose broadcasts airing controversial views or those challenging health authorities, the claims in a sermon aired by Christian channel Loveworld News calling the pandemic a “global cover-up” posed serious health consequences to viewers.The sermon questioned the need for lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus without providing context, according to the Ofcom investigation. Loveworld was ordered by the agency to air findings from its investigation given the “serious failings” by the channel to protect its viewers during the program.
Recall that on December 1st 2020, the TV channel had aired a 29-hour programme called the Global Day of Prayer, during which several unfounded claims were made about the coronavirus pandemic. These claims included the notion that the outbreak was ‘planned’, that the ‘sinister’ vaccine can be used to implant ‘nanochips’ that can control and cause harm to members of the public and the theory that the virus was somehow caused by 5G.
Following a detailed investigation by Ofcom, 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.
Pastor Oyakhilome has repeatedly expressed doubts about the COVID19 pandemic. Recently, he blasted Christian leaders encouraging their members to take the COVID19 vaccine.