Hundreds turned away at Benny Hinn’s Toronto crusadeHeadlines Saturday, August 11th, 2012
Written by New Nigerian Politics
For hundreds of expectant worshippers at Benny Hinn’s crusade in Toronto, their cups runneth over with frustration and anxiety when they were turned away from Toronto’s largest church, Prayer Palace, venue of the crusade. Church officials cited lack of space and strict adherence to fire code at the 3000-seater auditorium which was filled to capacity within minutes of the doors opening a 5 p.m.
At about 7 p.m., the scheduled time for the crusade, hundreds, seemingly from all ethnicities and cultures, had already lined up at the church’s main entrance waiting for church officials to decide their fate. Anxiety grew when many of the expectant worshippers caught a glimpse of a charged spiritual atmosphere in the auditorium as the doors opened and closed periodically.
A man who stood authoritatively at an outer door with the exclusive prerogative of admission reminiscent of the proverbial St. Peter of the heavenly gates, attempted to calm the anxious worshippers, offering intermittently, encouragement and a glimmer of hope. But as the long wait took its toll turning many into ‘doubting Thomases’ on their chances of partaking in the on-going spiritual fest, questions arose as to why such an event was hosted at a venue that could only seat 3,000. “They should have gone to the Air Canada Centre, “said one frustrated worshipper.
Another suggested that the International Conference Centre in Mississauga was more appropriate with the anointing of Benny Hinn and the large crowd he often attracts. A young lady, who had travelled from Detroit, USA, like many others, lamented her misfortune and inability to see the charismatic preacher even after several hours on the road. “I have travelled several hours only to stand in line here,” she noted with a stressful look.
The man at the door, presumably, a church official, stated that cost was part of the reason why the crusade could not be held at the other suggested venues, but promised a better seating arrangement on the preacher’s next visit which he hinted will be soon. When asked by this reporter why the church did not make arrangements to provide live stream on large screens to those outside, the man simply cited the lack of technical ability, a response that surprised many within ear-shot given the mega-church status of the church and its financial prowess.
At about 8:45 p.m. when this reporter left the scene, hundreds of eager worshippers, including a frail elderly man who had labored his way through the crowd with the aid of a four-wheeled walker and was refused entry in spite of his condition, were still waiting, clinging desperately unto faith for an opportunity to be renewed and lifted from the miry clay.
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