Christian leaders rally behind Nigeria's decision to ban miracles on religious TV
While the FCC cracks down on "indecent" broadcasts here in the states, Nigeria is facing a broadcasting bust of a different kind. The country's National Broadcasting Commission recently announced that it would essentially ban the broadcast of miracles on network television.

Last week, Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper described the action as a "crackdown on those who carry unverifiable claims on radio and television, as such practices prey on the sensibilities of the Nigerian people." This week (as well as in an earlier article), the same paper describes it as a "ban on televised religious miracles," and notes that it takes effect April 30.

While some Nigerian pastors are decrying the act as an inappropriate invasion of the state into religious matters, leaders of large Christian bodies in the country tell the paper that they approve.

"I will support the ban," said Joseph Ojo, national secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. "The issue of miracles, I was saying the other day, that if not addressed quickly, will be worse than the case of the [fake drugs]." (Weblog isn't familiar with that case.) "I am not saying they should stop TV evangelism," he continued.

No, but let them preach the Word. Let them forget about this frivolous, 'this man was blind … ' I am not saying there is no miracle. I believe in miracles; I have seen many miracles. God has used me to do many, but I'm against the way they are using some to exploit the poor masses of this country.

"The miracle aspect is not the most important aspect of religion," said Sunday Mbang, prelate of Nigeria's Methodist Church and former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria. Many ...

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Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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