THE Canadian revivalist Todd Bentley has been banned from
visiting the UK, the Home Office announced on Tuesday.
Mr Bentley, the founder of Fresh Fire Ministries, led the
Lakeland Outpouring, in Florida, in 2008 (
Features, 27 February 2009). He had been scheduled to speak at
Croydon Conference Centre from 30 August to 1 September, and at
events in Ireland, Wales, and Liverpool.
Earlier this month, Malcolm Wicks, MP for Croydon North, wrote
to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, saying that Mr Bentley "has
been known to physically assault those who come to him for help. I
urge you to do all in your power to ban this man from the UK" (
News, 17 August). Video clips, posted on YouTube, show Mr
Bentley describing how he once kicked a woman in the face during a
revival meeting, and claiming that a man was cured of cancer after
he punched him in the chest.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "We can
confirm that Mr Bentley has been excluded from the UK. The
Government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK
if we believe they are not conducive to the public good. Coming
here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might
seek to undermine our society."
On Thursday of last week, Mr Bentley issued a statement
defending his actions. He said that nobody had been injured when he
prayed for them in an "unorthodox manner", and that he had been
"operating" a "gift of faith". Such incidents were "generally not
how I pray or minister to people", he said.
Mr Bentley said on Tuesday: "I am deeply saddened by the recent
decision of the UK Government regarding my entry into the country.
At this point, we are thankful to God for the support from our
friends in the UK who truly love Jesus and embrace the
supernatural, faith, and healing.
"We know and believe that the UK has a great destiny, and we are
praying for the leaders and those in government."