Tofik Benedictus "Benny" Hinn is a Pentecostal pastor and televangelist. He is the host of This Is Your Day, a 30-minute television show on various religious networks, including Trinity Broadcasting Network, Daystar Television Network, Revelation TV, and The God Channel.
He is well known for his flamboyant, highly theatrical and often controversial style of ministry, at which members of the congregation and the choir are frequently "slain in the Spirit" en masse, and apparent healings of medical conditions, whether Lou Gehrig's disease, AIDS, arthritis or cancer, are televised from the stage. He hosts regular "Miracle Crusades" – revival meeting/faith healing summits that are usually held in large stadiums in major cities.
He is married to Suzanne Harthern and resides in Dana Point, California.
Benny Hinn was born on December 3 1952 in Tel Aviv, Israel, to a Greece father, and Armenia mother. He was raised within the Eastern Orthodox Church, and attended Georges Vanier High School in Toronto, Canada. He asserts that as a child, he was socially isolated and handicapped by a severe stammer, but was nonetheless a first-class student, although this claim has been disputed by some of his critics.
He has written that in December 1973 he travelled by charter bus from Toronto to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend a "miracle service" conducted by evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman. Although he never met her personally, he often attended her “healing services” and has often cited her as an influence in his life.
He founded the Orlando, Florida Christian Center in 1983. During its heyday the church averaged over 10,000 in attendance. In 1999, he handed the church (by the time renamed to the World Outreach Center) to Clint Brown and moved to Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, while maintaining the legal entity “World Outreach Center Benny Hinn Ministries”.
Controversies and critics
As a proponent of the Word of Faith doctrine, Hinn has been criticized by certain Christian counter-cult ministries such as Personal Freedom Outreach and The Sword of the Lord, who accuse him of preaching unsound Biblical doctrine, exploiting the poor, and maintaining an unbalanced focus on personal health and wealth.See for instance, John Bloom, "The Heretic", D Magazine, August 2003 Personal Freedom Outreach critiques his ministry in a book entitled The Confusing World of Benny Hinn (ISBN 1-885591-94-2). Personal Freedom Outreach: The Confusing World of Benny Hinn
His financial affairs have also been scrutinized by investigative journalists such as Bob McKeown, who hosted programs on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) the fifth estate on November 3, 2004,
and on Dateline NBC on December 27, 2002, with a follow-up investigation on March 6, 2005, claiming that Hinn lives a lavish lifestyle and that his ministry uses only a small percentage of its revenues for charitable purposes and questioning his claims of successful faith healing. Hinn responded to the allegations in detail in a letter on March 10, 2004, in which he denied any financial impropriety but confirmed that he and his staff travel by private plane for security reasons.
The Dallas-based Trinity Foundation (Dallas), a self-proclaimed "watchdog ministry" headed by Ole Anthony, devotes considerable resources towards scrutinizing Hinn's financial affairs, including his ministry's tax-exempt status as a church.Under Internal Revenue Service regulations, non-profit organizations must file for a "letter of determination" as to tax-exempt status and annually report information as to donations, expenses and salaries, although churches are specifically exempt from reporting requirements, and do not need to file for a letter of determination. They may simply claim tax-exempt status, which the IRS must then prove otherwise. The Trinity Foundation claims that its investigations prove that Hinn's ministry does not meet IRS guidelines for church designation, as he does not conduct "regular public worship services" at his headquarters which Hinn lists as the church address. Largely at their instigation, the status of Hinn's ministry has been investigated by the IRS and the Tarrant County, Texas, who are responsible for determining the assessed value of real estate for tax purposes and for granting property tax exemptions.
In January 2005, Hinn's ministry organized a trip to Bangalore, India, and a prayer meeting attended by various politicians and high profile people.Crusade website Hinduism groups objected to this stating that the meeting was a front for mass conversion by controversial means. The news website Rediff.com India reported: "Hinn claimed that he had cured several people of ailments with the blessings of Jesus Christ, but hundreds of disabled and sick people returned disappointed, without getting any remedy." The report also mentions "A doctor, meanwhile, lodged a police complaint against Hinn and the organisers of the show, seeking action for what he said was the death of a man due to cardiac arrest after being pushed by Hinn on the stage on Saturday".
Bibliography of Hinn's writings
Kathryn Kuhlman: Her Spiritual Legacy and Its Impact on My Life. ISBN 0-7852-7888-5 Good Morning, Holy Spirit. ISBN 0-7852-7176-7 He Touched Me - An Autobiography. ISBN 0-7852-7887-7 The Anointing. ISBN 0-7852-7168-6 Welcome, Holy Spirit: How You Can Experience The Dynamic Work Of The Holy Spirit In Your Life. ISBN 0-7852-7169-4 This Is Your Day for a Miracle. ISBN 0-88419-391-8 The Biblical Road to Blessing. ISBN 0-7852-7517-7 Miracle Of Healing. ISBN 0-8499-5399-5 The Blood. ISBN 0-88419-763-8 Going Deeper with the Holy Spirit. ISBN 1-59024-039-1 Lord, I Need a Miracle. ISBN 0-8407-6251-8
Kathryn Kuhlman Televangelism Word of Faith Personal Freedom Outreach Trinity Foundation (Dallas)
Courtesy of: http://www.wikipedia.org/