Following an investigation by the BBC and openDemocracy packaged into the viral docuseries The Cult of TB Joshua, YouTube has deleted the official channel of the disgraced Nigerian televangelist – Temitope Balogun Joshua – TB Joshua’s megachurch channel for violating its hate speech policies.
Emmanuel TV played a key role in his meteoric rise from obscure pastor to global apostate. The self proclaimed prophet died of undisclosed causes on 5 June 2021 at his home in Lagos. His church dubbed the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) – now run by his wife Evelyn Joshua – has not commented on the YouTube removal, but has said previous allegations of wrongdoing were “unfounded”. The Emmanuel TV YouTube channel had more than 500,000 followers and hundreds of millions of views. This is the second time in three years that the church’s YouTube channel has been suspended, following previous breaches of the platform’s community guidelines.
As part of the investigation, BBC and openDemocracy analyzed Emmanuel TV’s online presence and found at least 50 “abusive” videos on YouTube. The matter was reported to YouTube, and the account was suspended on 29 January 2024. In a statement, YouTube said Emmanuel TV had been “terminated for violating hate speech policies”.
TB Joshua gained global renown for his “healings” and in which he purported to cure physically disabled and chronically ill congregants. But several former church members have since debunked these “miracles”. The content reported by openDemocracy included Emmanuel TV footage of people with mental health issues being kept in chains, cases of medical misinformation, and smear campaigns against women who spoke out about TB Joshua’s sexual abuse. The satellite channel was on 17 January 2024 permanently taken off air on all DSTV platforms.