Ofcom has found Loveworld Limited in breach of broadcasting rules on its religious service, Loveworld.
Ofcom found that The Global Day of Prayer , a 29-hour programme broadcast on 1 December 2020, included potentially harmful and inaccurate
claims about the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Global Day of Prayer contained news content and sermons with potentially harmful claims about the Coronavirus, including some statements that the pandemic is a planned event created by the deep state for
nefarious purposes, and that the vaccine is a sinister means of administering nanochips to control and harm people.
Some statements claimed that fraudulent testing had been carried out to deceive the public about the existence of the virus and the
scale of the pandemic. Others linked the cause of Covid-19 to the roll out of 5G technology. The potentially harmful claims made during this programme were unsupported by any factual evidence and were broadcast without context or challenge. Ofcom's
investigation concluded that the broadcast failed to adequately protect audiences from harm and that news was not presented with due accuracy.
Ofcom has directed the Licensee not to repeat the programme and to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's
findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom. Given the seriousness of this breach and that it is Loveworld Limited's second of this nature, Ofcom is also considering whether to impose a further sanction.
Catholic Archbishop Eamon Martin has called on Irish state broadcaster RTE to immediately censor a television clip which he claims is offensive, outrageous, and blasphemous . He was complaining about RTE's New Year's Eve Countdown Show, which
included a mock news review by Waterford Whispers News:
In yet another shocking revelation this year, God became the latest figure to be implicated in ongoing sexual harassment scandals. The five-billion-year-old stood
accused of forcing himself on a young middle-Eastern migrant and allegedly impregnating her against her will, before being sentenced to two years in prison with the last 24 months suspended.
In response Martin tweeted:
1. I am shocked that producer/editor of NYE Countdown Show didn't realise how deeply offensive was a mocking 'news report' accusing God of rape & reporting his imprisonment. This outrageous clip should be removed
immediately & denounced by all people of goodwill.
2. To broadcast such a deeply offensive and blasphemous clip about God & Our Blessed Mother Mary during the Christmas season on 'NYE Countdown Show' is insulting to all
Catholics and Christians.
Is Archbishop Martin aware that
the people of Ireland recently voted overwhelmingly to remove the offence of blasphemy? Criticism or mockery of religious ideas is just as acceptable as criticism or mockery of secular ideas. But what of the claim that the item was offensive?
In October 2019, David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the freedom of opinion and expression, published a report to the United Nations General Assembly on the human rights law that
applies to freedom of expression. In that he stated:
A person who is not advocating hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, for example, a person advocating a minority or even
offensive interpretation of a religious tenet or historical event, or a person sharing examples of hatred and incitement to report on or raise awareness of the issue, is not to be silenced under article 20 of the ICCPR (or any other provision of human
rights law). Such expression is to be protected by the State, even if the State disagrees with or is offended by the expression. There is no "heckler's veto" in international human rights law.
apologised and said it would censor the joke from its catch up service. RTE said in a statement that its Editorial Standards Board found that the sketch did not comply with several provisions.
These included Section 39
(1) (d) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 and the BAI Code of Programme Standards in relation to material that causes undue offence.
It also did not comply with provision of Principle 5 in the above Code (Respect for Persons and Groups
in Society) regarding due respect for religious beliefs.
The RTE Editorial Standards Board also found the sketch was not in compliance with the provision in the RTE Journalism & Content Guidelines regarding sensitivity to
people's religious beliefs.
A comedian has been charged by the Indian authorities for supposedly hurting religious sentiments after a group of right-wing Hindus crashed his show and confronted him over jokes he allegedly made about Hindu deities.
Munawar Faruqui, a young
stand-up comedian from Gujarat, was arrested by the police along with four other people on Friday after several members of a fringe group, associated with a local politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP ), ambushed him after the show.
But later, amid a growing outcry over the comedian's treatment, police said in a statement that there was no video evidence to prove Faruqui made remarks either insulting Hindu deities. Nonetheless, police continue to hold Faruqui while they investigate