IRS Agents Raid Headquarters of Televangelist Benny Hinn

On April 26, 2017, federal agents from both the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Postal Service descended upon the headquarters of famous International televangelist, Benny Hinn. Known for his “Miracle Crusades,” Hinn also hosts This Is Your Day, a 30-minute television program that gets viewed daily in 200 countries and is one of the most watched Christian programs in the world.

This isn’t the first time Hinn’s finances have been under scrutiny.

In March 2005 Ministry Watch, an independent donor advocate, issued an alert against Benny Hinn Ministries. On their website, Ministry Watch states that both givers and receivers need to be responsible stewards to help ensure that donations are not used inappropriately or wasted.

Rusty Leonard, the founder of Ministry Watch, has been interviewed on 20/20 to discuss the financial transparency issues of some televangelists. Because of the current investigation, Benny Hinn Ministries has once again landed on Ministry Watch’s donor alert list.

In 2007, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, announced that Hinn’s ministry was being investigated by the United States Senate Committee on Finance. In his letter, Grassley requested Hinn’s ministry to release financial information so that it could be determined whether or not Hinn had been profiting personally from donations made to his ministry. The investigation ended in 2011 without any proof of wrongdoing.

In 2013, Hinn reportedly asked his supporters to donate 2.5 million dollars to help him get out of debt. In a 2014 blog post on his website titled, Breaking the Back of Poverty, Hinn encourages his readers to sow their best “seed-gift.” He writes, “Are you ready to receive God’s outpouring? Give to winning souls and building His kingdom…Giving is the key to breaking the back of poverty!”

Hinn preaches what some critics call, “a prosperity gospel,” meaning that financial blessings are part of God’s will and that the more one contributes to advance the Kingdom of God, the more God will bless them financially. This prosperity gospel first came to light in the United States during the healing revivals of the 1950s. It became a prominent theology in the 1980s during the Word of Faith movement and televangelism. Both American Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders helped spread the prosperity theology around the world.

Born in Israel in 1952, Hinn was raised in the Eastern Orthodox religion. Shortly after The Six Day War in 1967, Hinn emigrated with his family to Canada. During his teen years, Hinn converted to Pentecostalism. In 1973, he traveled to Pittsburgh to attend one of Kathryn Kuhlman’s “miracle services.” He continued to attend her services, and while he never met her personally, he has stated that she had a profound influence on his life.

After moving to the United States, Hinn founded the Orlando Christian Center in 1983. He began calling the healing services he conducted in his church “miracle crusades.” So many people began to attend his services that they needed to be held in stadiums.

In 1989, his services began to get televised. In the early 1990s, he launched his show This Is Your Day, which premiered on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). To this day, the television show features clips of miracles that take place during his services. In 1999, after stepping down from his pastoral position at Orlando Christian Center, he moved his ministry headquarters to Grapevine, TX, which is where the recent raid by federal agents took place.

As reporters gathered to watch the event unfold, Michael Mosley, a criminal investigations special agent said, “Today, we are here on official business. We are primarily investigating Title 26, which is tax evasion and general fraud against the government. We are conducting a search warrant on the premises. Basically, that’s all I can tell you today.”

Hinn has often been criticized for living a lavish lifestyle which has included flying in a private jet, a multi-million dollar mansion and staying at some of the world’s most expensive hotels. During an interview conducted in 2009 on ABC’s Nightline, Hinn stated his salary was more than $500,000. “I think if I was fooling the people, over 35 years of it now, I would have been caught already fooling them,” he said.

According to some reports, Benny Hinn’s net worth is $40 million. In 2008, the value of his seaside mansion was listed at $10 million.

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) has stated that Benny Hinn Ministries is not amongst the 1,150 accredited organizations that meet its criteria for membership.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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