For the second time in three years, YouTube has taken down the main channel, Emmanuel TV run by the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
It is the second time that openDemocracy’s reporting has led to YouTube suspending content from Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN). openDemocracy is a UK-based independent media platform and news website.
This development comes on the heels of the damning BBC Africa Eye documentary exposé on the late renowned Nigerian pastor Temitope Joshua, widely known as T.B. Joshua, as it delved into serious allegations against the deceased pastor.
The documentary, released on 8 January, has generated diverse reactions and pitted the church’s faithful, some Nigerian personalities and celebrities against critics.
In April 2021, it was reported that a YouTube belonging to the church, which had amassed more than 1.8 million subscribers, was closed after openDemocracy contacted YouTube to inquire whether its content violated community guidelines.
The new closure, as reported by openDemocracy on Monday, followed allegations that the late preacher had groomed and raped multiple former leaders of his ministry over decades.
The report highlighted openDemocracy’s identification and reporting of over 50 abusive videos on the video platform, amplifying abuse against Joshua’s accusers.
According to the report, YouTube accounts promoted SCOAN broadcasts and shared archival video footage depicting the experiences of whistleblowers while they were church members.
These videos, filmed initially by the church’s Emmanuel TV media department, showcased women participating in an investigative documentary undergoing humiliating rituals and confessing to alleged moral wrongdoing.
Furthermore, openDemocracy stated that the sharing of the clips aimed to discredit the survivors, alleging that SCOAN habitually employed psychological manipulation, near starvation, and isolation against members.
In response to the clampdown, SCOAN introduced a new app for its Emmanuel TV cable channel on the Android platform.
The announcement was made on the church’s Facebook page on Sunday, less than two weeks after the cable channel ceased airing on Multichoice’s DStv and GOtv platforms.
The statement read, ‘‘The New Emmanuel TV Android App can now be downloaded from the Emmanuel.TV website for any Android Smartphone. For Samsung Galaxy Phone users, we advise you to download the New Emmanuel TV Android App in the Samsung Galaxy Store).”