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ACB Chairman says letters to church are not attacks

The chairman of the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting (ACB) Evan Persaud is saying that the ACB’s move to write the television stations about the Universal Church of God programs should not be seen as an attack on the church or Christianity.

He said the decision to write the stations about the program’s claims of miracles and cures was based on a directive from the Minister of Health, Lesley Ramsammy.

According to the ACB chairman, the ministry of health has indicated to the commission that it does not want any religious body pronouncing on health matters, and that covers all the religions not just the Christian faith.

Based on that directive, he said the ACB monitored the Universal Church’s television programs. According to the ACB, on some of those programs, the pastors spoke about being able to cure various illnesses and perform miracles. The ACB sees a problem with that and does not believe the church and its pastors ought to be making such statements without it being verified by medical professionals. But the pastors say that’s bearing false witness, they have been preaching about faith and believing in the bible and the word of god for healing.

The ACB chairman said the members of the committee will meet next week to discuss that issue and several others. The government it seems is on the side of the ACB, although not disputing that miracles do take place.

Reports indicate that the statement was issued to the television stations without consultation with the other members of the commission and many in the Christian community believe it is a direct attack on the Christian faith and not just a particular church.

The Guyana Evangelical Council intends to discuss the matter and plan a way forward. The superintendent of the assembly of god churches in Guyana Rev. John Smith believes that the ACB should have consulted the Universal Church before issuing the statement. The head of the ACB says if any consultation should take place, it should be with the health minister.

The health ministry had also issued an advisory when an American pastor visited Guyana a few years back and spoke about miracles and cures. The ministry is maintaining that when it comes to pronouncements on cures, medical professionals ought to be consulted.
Church goers are holding onto their faith and trusting in their lord, saying divine intervention is always a better cure.

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