Church again promoting controversial healing oil… with disclaimers

oil

Three branches of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) recently held events in Auckland where vials of olive oil in crucifix-shaped bottles were gifted, not sold, to churchgoers.

The church’s bishop, Victor Silva who is currently in Fiji, said via email that the UCKG believed God could heal people.

“We – like many Christians – pray for the sick, anointing them with oil and encourage people to do the same.

“This is never meant to replace medical treatments, but often it is done in conjunction with them, as a way to activate people’s faith.”

Claims from followers that the oil, as well as faith, have treated chronic illness are made in a pamphlet advertising an event called Lifted, which the UCKG billed as the “event of the year”.

Naina Sharma, who works for the church, said the testimonials came mainly from people in New Zealand and Australia.

However she pointed out that there is a disclaimer in the pamphlet.

“If you read the disclaimer we say we don’t claim to heal anyone,” she said before declining to comment further.

In small print, the pamphlet makes this disclaimer: “The UCKG does not claim to heal people but believes God can through the power of faith. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.”

This is not the first time the UCKG’ healing oil has been in the news.  In 2014 the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a  complaint about it from the  Society for Science Based Healthcare.

This was after Silva, responding to  a previous successful ASA complaint, had promised that:

“When we come to hold another similar event, we will take external advice as to the content of any promotional material to doubly ensure that it is fully compliant with all regulation and that there is no chance of another complaint of this nature.”

Despite these assurances, within 3 weeks the church sent out another advertisement for a “chain of prayer” series of events.

This advert claimed that “IT WORKS!” and that a “HEALING” session covered cases such as “When doctors & medicines are not enough” and “incurable diseases”.

Source

News category: New Zealand.

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