Controversial New Zealand Church Asked to Take Down Healing Ads
By Reissa Su | June 27, 2014 4:34 PM EST
The Universal Church for the Kingdom of God in New Zealand was told to remove the ad saying it can heal "incurable diseases" and other health problems in prayer sessions. The controversial church was ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority to take down the ad after a complaint was filed.
Survivors hold hands during Sunday Mass at the damaged Santo Nino Church after super typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines November 17, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
The United Church for the Kingdom of God had distributed brochures to the public which included a timetable for its alleged healing sessions. The brochure contained the following information: "For people who suffer with constant pain, deteriorating health, can't work due to illness, incurable disease, doctors don't know what's wrong, dependent on pills, recovering from injury, weight problems, sick children."
The complaint was made by Mark Hanna, a member of the Society for Science Based Healthcare, according to the NZ Herald. He said there was no evidence to prove that prayers can heal the health problems advertised in the brochure.
Hanna's complaint said the claims of the church violate the Therapeutic Products Advertising Code Principle 2. It also failed to observe a "high standard of social responsibility" as required by the Therapeutic Products Advertising Code Principle 3.
According to the church, it did not give medical or health services or others that have a therapeutic purpose. In its defence, the church said it only conducts prayer meetings. The congregation prays for the different issues in their lives which also includes health issues.
The church said they were no different from other religious groups on this matter. They believe "God can heal the sick, and it is He who heals."
However, the advertising authority's Complaints Board had ruled that the church had presented its religious beliefs in healing the sick as an "absolute fact". It said the church may mislead or deceive others who are suffering from the illnesses listed in the ad.
With the majority voting in favor of the complainant, the board decided to ask the church to remove the ad.
Previously, the board had upheld the complaint regarding an ad about olive oil being a religious "cure-all treatment" for tumours and schizophrenia including relationship problems.
In a report by NZ Herald, the church's Bishop Victor Silva said he has not yet seen the board's decision regarding the prayer sessions. He had declined APNZ's offer to send the document to him. The bishop said he will not comment about the decision until after he had seen the ruling for himself.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Real Life ‘Frozen’: Snow Overwhelms The US, Kills 7; More To Come (Pictures)
- ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, Episode 8 Spoilers: Daryl Dixon Is Set To Burn The Place Down in ‘Coda’
- Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt in Sydney for ‘Unbroken’ Red Carpet Premiere [PHOTOS]
- G20 Summit Awkward Moments: Putin Yawns, Mystery Bubbles Appear, F18 Drama Ensues
Join the Conversation
- ISIS War to Last For 4 Years; US Military Shows Videos of Airstrikes Hitting Militant Base [VIDEO]
- Australia's Chance Of El Niño Rises To 70%; Heatwaves And Drought To Persist
- Australia Joins Global Effort to Stop Russian Website From Illegally Streaming Web Cam Feeds
- Woman Gets Killed After Falling Off Cliff During Expedition Near Mermaid Pool
- ‘Drunk Girl in Public' Actress Apologises; Actor Tells Dr. Drew He Thought It Was Comedy Skit
- Walmart Early Price Matching Special Event On Nov. 21, 2014 Matches Its Competitors' Black Friday 2014 Prices And Includes Exclusive Deals For Samsung LED HDTVs And iPad Air 2 [WATCH VIDEO]
- US Plane Flying Over Russian Skies Spotted; Vladimir Putin Ready For 'Practical Cooperation' With US
- Walmart Pre-Black Friday 2014 Sale On Nov. 21, 2014 Includes Discounts On The 'NBA 2K15' For PS4 And The 'Skylanders Trap Team’ Starter Kit [WATCH VIDEO]
- Alleged 'Microsoft Lumia 1030' Front Panel Leaked With Capacitive Buttons; 'Xbox One' Owners To Get Free Goodies On Anniversary
- Black Friday 2014 Sale: Top Deals On Game Consoles Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Wii U And More
- Nexus 6 Release Date And Price Under AT&T, T-Mobile And Sprint Listed
- Cold War 2: Russia, China And North Korea’s Blacklisted Company Fortify Alliance -- Reports