MIRACLES: Hope and Damnation (Part 1)
When the two preachers profiled in MIRACLES, Benny Hinn and German Reinhard Bonnke, step before their audiences, as captured in the documentary Hope and Damnation, we see crowds who come in search of not just faith and salvation, but in search of miracles - miracle cures. Benny Hinn and Reinhard Bonnke are leading figures in the Charismatic Christain movement, the fastest growing religious phenomenon on earth. They believe, through God, that they can invoke miracles.
Benny Hinn has reached the heights of television evangalism in North America and elsewhere in the world, and appears before audiences of up to million people a night. His broadcasts are seen in nearly 200 countries.
German born Reinhard Bonnke has Africa as his principal domain, and uses a fiery brand of vibrant, ecstatic preaching as he claims to cast out demons of sickness amongst his African followers.
The two preachers profiled in MIRACLES are magnets for people like Amendra and Mila Prakash who are looking for a miracle for their terminally ill son, Ashnil. We watch as Benny Hinn practises the "laying on of hands" on Ashnil. He tells the Prakash family to "expect a miracle". Amendra Prakash, not a wealthy man, pledges $2,000 to the Hinn Ministry. Seven weeks later, their son is dead.
On stage in Benin, Nigeria, Reinhard Bonnke works himself and the crowd into a feverish pitch while below stage the sick and maimed are auditioned for their performance value. Bonnke too, proclaims healing miracles - sixty-eight that night in Benin. Tragically, fifteen people are crushed to death while trying to leave the stadium.
Several weeks after Benny Hinn's Portland crusade, the filmmaker follows up to see what has become of the 76 miracles that were proclaimed onstage.e is given five names to contact. Amongst the five, there is no evidence any cures have taken place.
Are these just clever theatrical tricks being performed for the sick and dying, or is there a higher force at work? Next week, in part two of the MIRACLES documentary, we begin to unravel these mysteries. With the help of leading scientists and theologians, we continue this challenging investigation and find answers that lie deep within the mysteries of the human mind.