YouTube terminates TB Joshua's Emmanuel TV channel after BBC exposé

YouTube has taken action against the official channel of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), led by the late Nigerian televangelist TB Joshua, for violating its hate speech policies.


The termination follows weeks of investigation by the BBC and openDemocracy, revealing evidence of widespread sexual abuse and torture linked to the controversial preacher.

Emmanuel TV, a key player in TB Joshua's global rise from local pastor to renowned televangelist, had accumulated over half a million followers on YouTube with hundreds of millions of views. This is not the first time the channel has faced suspension; it previously violated community guidelines leading to a temporary shutdown three years ago.

While the church, now under the leadership of TB Joshua's widow, Evelyn Joshua, has not officially commented on the removal, it had previously dismissed allegations of wrongdoing as "unfounded."


openDemocracy, in collaboration with the BBC, conducted an investigation into Emmanuel TV's online content.

The analysis uncovered at least 50 "abusive" videos on YouTube, which were promptly reported to the platform. Consequently, YouTube suspended the account on January 29, citing violations of its hate speech policies.

TB Joshua, who passed away in 2021, was known for his "healing" ministries, with numerous services claiming to show him curing the physically disabled and chronically ill. However, former church members have since debunked these claims. The content reported by openDemocracy included videos depicting individuals with mental health issues being kept in chains, instances of medical misinformation, and smear campaigns against women who spoke out about TB Joshua's alleged sexual abuse.

In addition to the YouTube termination, MultiChoice, a South African company operating satellite services DStv and GOTv, dropped Emmanuel TV's satellite channel on January 17. Previously one of the most successful Christian networks globally, it broadcasted to millions worldwide.

Following the BBC's investigation, contributors linked to the church and Emmanuel TV have been reported for trolling individuals online. Despite openDemocracy reporting these accounts to YouTube, no action has been taken against them.


This incident adds to the growing scrutiny that YouTube and other social media platforms face over their online safety policies in recent years.


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