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Nigerian pastor TB Joshua speaks during a New Year's memorial service for the South African relatives of those killed in a building collapse at his Lagos megachurch on December 31, 2014.

YouTube Shuts Down Homophobic Nigerian Megachurch Channel

A YouTube channel belonging to Nigerian pastor T.B. Joshua's megachurch has reportedly been taken down for slapping gay church members as a form of "gay curing" therapy.

Prominent Nigerian pastor T.B. Joshua's church channel has reportedly been deactivated by YouTube. This, after UK-based organisation OpenDemocracy sent complaints to YouTube two weeks ago. Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) YouTube channel allegedly housed several gay conversation videos, one of which showed the pastor violently slapping a gay member as a form of exorcism to drive out "unclean spirits".


Read: Nigerian Judge Releases 47 Men Accused of Homosexuality Following Two-Year Case

Lydia Namubiru, OpenDemocracy's Africa Editor, said that Joshua had slapped a woman sixteen times in one video which garnered over 1.5 million views. In another video, a gay member was forced to cut off his dreadlocks to cure him of his attraction to men. Joshua, who does not consider the disturbing events harmful or hurtful, has instead asked his congregants to pray for YouTube to reopen his church's account. According to IOL, the pastor appealed to YouTube saying that he is against all forms of hate speech however he did not comment or apologise for his violent actions.

Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria, and members of the LGBTQIA community live in constant fear of being incarcerated for up to 14 years. In October last year, a Nigerian judge finally released 47 men who were facing charges of homosexuality in a controversial case that lasted two years.

Joshua has a huge following across Africa, especially in Nigeria and South Africa. Furthermore, his church enjoys prime-time slots on some of the country's biggest television stations. His actions further exacerbate the persecution of African LGBTQIA population, currently the most vulnerable in Africa. Homophobia is admittedly a continental scourge that has seen many gay individuals killed in homophobic acts — even in South Africa where homosexuality is decriminalised.

According to CNN, YouTube has indefinitely terminated the channel. The YouTube channel belonging to The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) had more than two million subscribers and over 600 million views.

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Sudan Declares State of Emergency, As Military Dissolves Transitional Government

As the North African country edged closer to democracy, Sudan's military has seized power.

Sudan's military has seized power over the North African country, arresting multiple civilian leaders, including the current Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The power-sharing, unstable coalition, called the Sovereign Council, was created as a transitional government after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, in an attempt to move towards a democratic Sudan.

The Sudanese public has been split in recent weeks as groups protested for a military-run state, while others pushed for a civilian lead, democratic nation. Last week, the Prime Minister vocalized his plans towards a full transition to civilian rule, and his plans to have that body in place by November 17, echoing the voices of thousands of Sudanese demonstrators who showed up in hoards to demand that the promise of Sudan's pro-democracy movement be honored. But on Monday the PM and multiple government ministers and officials were placed under arrest, resulting in Sudan's top general's declaring State of Emergency.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a televised statement, "To rectify the revolution's course, we have decided to declare a state of emergency nationwide… dissolve the transitional sovereign council, and dissolve the cabinet." His statement came as soldiers fired live rounds at anti-military protestors, outside of the army headquarters in the capital.

Internet services were cut across the country around dawn and the main roads and bridges into Khartoum shut, before soldiers stormed the headquarters of Sudan's state broadcaster in the capital's twin city of Omdurman, the ministry said. After months of rising tensions in the country, army and paramilitary troops have been deployed across the capital city, Khartoum, with the airports and internet access being shut down. As a result of the coup, hundreds of protestors have taken to the streets, demanding the return of a civilian ruled and the transitional government, the BBC reports.

Demonstrators have spread to a number of Sudanese cities including Atbara, Wad Madani, and Port Sudan, and more are expected to attend the call for action. "We will not leave the streets until the civilian government is back and the transition is back," protest attendee Sawsan Bashir told AFP. While demonstrator Haitham Mohamed says, "We are ready to give our lives for the democratic transition in Sudan."


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