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Benny Hinn

Benny HinnAKA Toufik Benedictus Hinn

Born: 3-Dec-1952
Birthplace: Jaffa, Israel

Gender: Male
Religion: Born-Again Christian
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Religion, Paranormal

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Faith healing televangelist

Benny Hinn is an impressively-coiffed TV charlatan who says God has appeared before him numerous times. He has no formal training as a minister, is not affiliated with any established denomination, and many mainstream Christians consider him an embarrassment.

Hinn was born in Israel, raised in the Greek Orthodox Church, and attended Roman Catholic schools as a child. He says his childhood was plagued by a persistent stutter, which was eventually cured by a miracle; however, reporters consulted his childhood acquaintances, and none remembered a stutter. At various times, Hinn has claimed he became a born-again Christian while he was a teenager in Israel, or while he was a high schooler in Toronto, or at an altar call by traveling evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman when Hinn was in his early twenties.

He started preaching on TV in Canada in the 1970s, and has expanded his reach to more than 120 nations. As part of his ministry, he conducts faith-healing services, allegedly curing diseases and congenital defects with a wisp of his breath. Evander Holyfield says a hole in his heart was fixed by Hinn's healing powers.[1] Hinn was reportedly the inspiration for Steve Martin's character in the film Leap of Faith, and several of Hinn's healings were effectively debunked in a 2002 report by NBC's Dateline.

Hinn has prophesized that God would destroy the homosexual community of America by fire "in the mid-nineties -- about '94 or '95, no later than that." He also foretold that Fidel Castro would die during the 1990s, and that the world would end by 1999. Hinn has taught that the Biblical Adam flew to the moon.[2] He has said that the Christian Trinity is actually God in nine persons, not three, because the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are each comprised of trinities.[3]

"I do admit there have been times when I have made a statement that was incorrect", Hinn has written. "Because we are continually growing in the Lord, preachers and lay people alike must be open to the Lord's correction. However, I do not believe it is right when a minister corrects his theology -- or his view on a point of Scripture -- and the critics continue to bring up that same subject".

That kind of nagging really angers Hinn, to the point where he has wished aloud for an exception to that pesky "Thou shalt not kill" commandment. "You know", Hinn said in a broadcast, "I've looked for one verse in the Bible -- I just can't seem to find it -- one verse that says, If you don't like 'em, kill 'em. I really wish I could find it!... Sometimes I wish God would give me a Holy Ghost machine gun. I'd blow your head off!"

His ministry is believed to rake in up to $120M annually. Hinn lives in an oceanfront hacienda valued at $8.5M. When news broke that his wife had filed for divorce in 2010, citing irreconcilable differences, a leading Christian website reported, "Some of Benny Hinn's followers believe that the 'devil made her do it' in order to try to separate his church. Others believe that Benny masqueraded some of his tumultuous private life, and that the 'truth' would have to come out sooner or later."

[1] Ron Borges, "Holyfield Claims Heart Problem Cured", The Boston Globe, 14 June 1994. But see also Gerald Eskenazi, "Holyfield's Ring Return Has an Olympic Motive", The New York Times, 18 May 1995. The Mayo Clinic stated the defect never existed, his symptoms were caused by treatment for dehydration.

[2] Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2008), page 175. "[...] Popular hero Benny Hinn, who says that Adam was a superhero who could fly to the moon and claims that one day the dead will be raised by watching TBN from inside their coffins." Hinn made this claim on 19 October 1999's broadcast of Praise the Lord.

[3] Warren Smith, Voices That Carry: Conversations with Some of the Evangelical Church's Most Interesting and Influential People (2005), page 57. Hinn claimed that this insight was a direct revelation from God. Norman Geisler makes the observation that as Hinn recanted this unusual claim, either Benny Hinn or God was wrong.

Wife: Suzanne Harthern ("Honey", m. 4-Aug-1979, filed for divorce 1-Feb-2010, four children)

    High School: Georges Vanier High School, Laval, Quebec, Canada (dropped out)

    Armenian Ancestry Maternal
    Greek Ancestry Paternal
    Risk Factors: Stuttering, Glossolalia

Official Website:

Author of books:
Good Morning, Holy Spirit (1990)
He Touched Me: An Autobiography (2000, memoir)

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