Controversial punching preacher denied access to UK
23 August 2012
A Canadian revivalist preacher who claims to be able to cure sick people by hitting them has been denied entry to the UK ahead of a planned nationwide tour.
Todd Bentley was due to attend meetings in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but was not let into the country after being subject to an exclusion order on the grounds that he was not “conducive to the public good”.
As part of his shows Bentley, a reformed drug addict now based in the USA, kicks, punches and chokes people to allegedly cure them of ailments, including cancer.
He gained notoriety after holding a series of popular revivalist meetings in Florida known as the Lakeland Outpouring. However since then he has been beset by allegations about his private life and the legitimacy of his claims.
Bentley counted senior government officials among his critics, with the MP for Croydon, where the tour was set to commence, Malcolm Wicks, urging Home Secretary Theresa May to ban him.
Reacting to the decision of the Home Office, he said: "I am deeply saddened by the recent decision of the UK government regarding my entry into the country.
"At this point, we are thankful to God for the support from our friends in the UK who truly love Jesus and embrace the supernatural, faith and healing.
"We know and believe that the UK has a great destiny, and we are praying for the leaders and those in government. Please continue to stand with us in prayer regarding this decision and our return to the UK."
The bullish Home Office “made no apologies” for denying Bentley access to the country.
“Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might seek to undermine our society," it said.
Bentley has however been allowed into the UK on several previous occasions.