DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?
Watch the entire documentary online (runs
Benny Hinn Biography
Benny Hinn's finances
Viewer Response to this Story
Benny Hinn's year book
photo from when he was a teenager attending Georges
Vanier High school.
Benny Hinn was born Toufik Benedictus Hinn in the coastal
city of Jaffa in Israel in 1952. He was one of eight
children born to an Armenian mother and a Greek father.
The family was Greek Orthodox. In 1968, they emigrated
to Canada settling in Toronto and Benny, who by this
time was a young teenager, began attending Georges
Vanier High school, north of Toronto.
While at school, Benny befriended a group of religious
students who introduced him to prayer meetings and
teaching of the Gospel. Benny eventually became a Born
Again Christian, despite concerns and initial opposition
of his family. When he was 21, he attended a healing
service in Pittsburgh headlined by evangelist Kathryn
Kuhlman. She would become a major influence on his
life, so much so, that he emulates her style to this
Benny Hinn began his healing ministry in Toronto
by hosting his own evangelical program on local television.
His success in Canada inspired him to travel with his
healing missions. In Orlando, Florida he met and married
Suzanne, the daughter of a local pastor and it was
there that Benny Hinn began to build his evangelical
Today he is known as Pastor Benny . Without doubt
he is one of the best known and possibly richest televangelists
in the world. Each year he travels the world conducting
so-called miracle healing crusades that are very closely
patterned to a rock concert tour.
Benny Hinn as a young
He produces a daily television show called “This
is Your Day” from his studios based in California
and has written several books about his life and ministry,
which he markets and sells, along with video tapes
of his crusades, music CDs and bibles.
Benny Hinn is also a proponent of the Prosperity
Gospel or the Word of Faith movement. As is implied
by the name "Prosperity Gospel" the supporters
believe that faith works as a mighty power or force.
That it is through their faith that they can obtain
anything they want – such as health, wealth,
or any form of personal success. However, this force
is only released through their faith. According to
Pastor Benny if a person expresses their faith by sowing
a sufficient monetary seed into his ministry - that
person will be granted divine physical healing.
Some Christian groups have been critical of Benny
Hinn for preaching the Prosperity Gospel and for misinterpreting
scriptures on a number of occasions. Read more on the
Index , an online resource on religions
He has also been criticized by a number of Christian
watchdog groups for not joining the Evangelical
Council for Financial Accountability . The Council
is the leading accreditation agency that helps Christian
ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence
to seven standards of accountability. It has over 1,100
members, including Pat Robertson and Billy Graham.
Benny Hinn refuses to join.
Roddy Allen, a forsensic
accountant with the firm of Kroll Linquist Avey
pores over financial records with the fifth estate's
BENNY HINN'S FINANCES
Under U.S. tax laws the Hinn Ministry is not legally
obligated to makes its finances public because it
is a religious organization.
Although most major American churches and ministries
release financial information voluntarily there are
no public records for how much the Hinn ministry
makes or how that money is spent.
Benny Hinn insists that every penny is spent on God's
work. But the fifth estate obtained confidential
financial records from inside the Hinn ministry.
These documents were provided by individuals
who say they want the public to know how Benny Hinn
spends the money entrusted to him.
The fifth estate asked Roddy Allan, a forensic accountant,
to review the ministry's expense and travel records.
He says, "I'm a mere bean counter,
but it would be hard to persuade me that you had
to incur that kind of expense in order to accomplish
a business objective."
The prestigious Lanesborough
Hotel, next to Buckingham Palace, is frequented
by celebrities such as Madonna and Micheal Jackson.
Here is a very small sampling of financial records
from the summer of 2003. At that time Hinn had
crusades in St. Petersburg, Russia and Stockholm, Sweden
then departed for a four day whirlwind trip to Italy
and London, billing it as a simple layover.
- A hotel bill for room service and chauffeur services
at the Lanesborough Hotel in London (see bill .pdf)
- Tips given to staff at Lanesborough
Hotel in London after a one day stay (see chit .pdf)
- Tips given to the staff at the Savoia Hotel in
Milan, Italy (see chit .pdf)
- $5000US dollars cash given to Pastor Benny Hinn
(PBH), no details for the reason (see chit .pdf)
- A gift from Benny Hinn to a 'homeless woman with
a baby' of $20US (see chit .pdf)
you need Acrobat Reader, download it HERE.
Justin Peters analyzed Benny
Hinn's Ministry and its methods for his master's
thesis in theology.
Justin Peters was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
The influence of two Christian parents coupled with
the challenges of Cerebral Palsy led Justin to begin
inquiring about Jesus at an early age. In fact, he
became a born again Christian at age seven.
As a teenager, Justin visited faith healers,
hoping to be healed himself, but his hopes were unfulfilled.
In November 1995, while attending Mississippi State
University, Justin decided that his calling was to
enter the ministry and become an evangelist. With that
goal in mind, he set off to study theology at Southwestern
Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
His Master’s thesis, completed at the end of
2002, was an examination of the life and ministry of
Benny Hinn. As research for his thesis, Justin attended
several Benny Hinn Crusades. However, his requests
for interviews with Benny Hinn were denied.
READ part of Justin’s thesis (.pdf)
Justin is now a staff evangelist at the First Baptist
Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi but he travels often
to preach to other congregations across the United
States. He is an avid hunter and fisherman.
READ his interview with the
fifth estate (.pdf)
you need Acrobat Reader, download it HERE.
Foundation Inc - leading watchdog of religious
Council for Financial Accountability -
focuses on financial transparency, integrity
in fund-raising, and proper use of charity resources
in Christian ministries
Ministry Watch - online
database with profiles on more than 400 of the largest
church and parachurch ministries in the United States
A. Ross Institute - a database of information about
cults, controversial groups and movements,
specific information about Benny Hinn
an online resource on religions
Door Magazine - satirizes the church and people
the young man in Calgary is still on dialysis and
still looking for his miracle.
is fine, says her Mom, but there's been no change
in her physical condition. They
haven't attended any more of Pastor Benny's crusades.
in his letter to his followers after our original broadcast,
Pastor Benny suggests that our reporting on his hotel
expenses was misleading. He claims that the hotels
he uses often give him rooms for free, or "deeply discounted".
Well, we checked on that and the two luxury hotels
which appear in our story, the ones in London and Milan,
both told us that they do not offer deep discounts
or freebies on those rooms.