24 Jan 2006

Controversy in Fiji over Benny Hinn miracle show

9:23 am on 24 January 2006

Fierce controversy has broken out in Fiji over what has been described as three days of a miracle crusade by the US pastor Benny Hinn.

More than a hundred thousand people are reported to have attended the crusade on Friday, Saturday and Sunday including the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, his wife and members of his cabinet.

There are claims that during the crusade, Mr Hinn made a man on crutches walk again, the blind see, and the deaf hear.

He's said to have treated a 13-year old girl who said she had AIDS and cured another woman of cancer.

But critics say the shows were stage managed and Mr Hinn's minders only brought carefully selected people to be cured by him.

The Fiji Sun reports that two busloads of people from the Fiji Disabled People's Association who went to seek cures from Benny Hinn were turned away.

The president of the Methodist Church is quoted as saying he would direct Benny Hinn to the St Giles Psychiatric Hospital and the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva because these are the places where people require urgent healing.

The spokesman for the Christian Mission Fellowship which brought Mr Hinn to Fiji says the American pastor will return in June and "signs and wonders will follow."