Thursday, 12 August 2010

The UCKG Church is breaking the law


The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) is an evangelical church with branches all over the UK and a predominantly immigrant membership.


In 2009 they received a stern rebuke from the ASA after falsely claiming that their bottles of holy oil could cure a life-threatening heart condition.

Can you see where I'm going with this...?

(Image credit - actual UCKG publicity)

On the 8th August the church held a special event at which visitors were given a free " bottle of oil blessed on Mount Sinai".

The publicity for the event, a twelve page booklet called "IT'S TIME TO SAY ENOUGH!", contained a series of testimonials from grateful church members.

One of them, "Antonia Duarte", claimed that she had recovered from a terminal illness.

"When doctors told me I only had a few days to live - they diagnosed me with cancer - I was devastated. I was so weak that I had to be carried to church but I believed that God could turn things around for me. Every Tuesday I was anointed during the meeting for health and would receive the prayer. Little by little, I felt my strength coming back. This encouraged me to keep fighting until I was discharged and given the all clear. I believe the anointing helped me get my health back."

The tiny, trifling problem with this story is that advertising a cure for cancer is illegal.

Once again, I'd like to ask everyone to help me put a stop to this dangerous church before someone dies.

Please submit a short complaint to Advertising Standards and another to Trading Standards. It's easy and it'll only take two minutes of your time.

Your complaints only need to mention the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), their 8th August booklet entitled "IT'S TIME TO SAY ENOUGH", and the fact that the church misleadingly claims to cure cancer with the power of prayer, contrary to the Cancer Act 1939. A scan of the advert appears here.

Below you can find my own complaint the ASA. You are free to copy it, but the blue text above contains all the details which are actually important.

"I write to complain about a booklet published by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) shortly before August 8th, 2010.

The advert promotes a bottle of oil which, used in combination with prayer, is claimed to cure terminal cancer.

I suspect that the advert may be in breach of nine sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code.

I enclose scans of pages 6-7, in which the claim appears. For context, I also enclose scans of pages 2-3 and 4-5. I can provide an original copy of the booklet by post, if required.

1. The UCKG is an evangelical church which operates over twenty "HelpCentres" (churches) around the UK.

2. On August 8th 2010, the UCKG held a special event across all of its centres at which visitors were offered "a 10ml bottle of oil blessed on Mount Sinai" (p5). The booklet which is the subject of this complaint was part of the publicity material for the event.

3. (i) This complaint concerns a claim that the bottle of oil, combined with prayer, can cure terminal cancer.

(ii) In September 2009, the ASA Council adjudicated on a rather similar complaint against the UCKG. The complaint (ref 97225) was upheld in full.

4. The centre pages of the booklet (p6-7) contain the following testimonial:

"When doctors told me I only had a few days to live - they diagnosed me with cancer - I was devastated. I was so weak that I had to be carried to church but I believed that God could turn things around for me. Every Tuesday I was anointed during the meeting for health and would receive the prayer. Little by little, I felt my strength coming back. This encouraged me to keep fighting until I was discharged and given the all clear. I believe the anointing helped me get my health back."

5. The centre pages also contain the following disclaimer:

"The UCKG HelpCentre's spiritual advice is to be seen as a complement to the scientifically proven treatment you may be receiving. The UCKG does not claim to heal people but believes that God can through the power of faith. Always follow your doctor's instructions."

6. Under Sections Under Sections 3.1, 14.3 and 50.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate the claim that Antonia Duarte's terminal cancer - which was so advanced that "doctors told me I only had a few days to live" - was cured by a combination of prayer and anointing oil.

7. Under Section 7.1, I challenge whether the claim is misleading.

8. Under Section 50.27, I challenge whether the advertisers "falsely claim that a product is able to cure illness, dysfunction or malformations".

9. Under Section 50.3, I challenge whether the advert:

(i) Discourages essential treatment

(ii) Offers "specific advice on, diagnosis of or treatment for [a] serious or prolonged condition" which has not been "conducted under the supervision of a doctor or other suitably qualified health professional"

10. Under Section 4.1, and with respect to the Cancer Act 1939, I challenge whether the advertisers have complied with their "primary responsibility for ensuring that their marketing communications are legal".

11. Under Section 6.1, I challenge whether the advert "exploit[s] the credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers".

12. Under Section 2.2, I challenge whether the advert has been "prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society".

13. Given that the ASA Council has already adjudicated on a very similar advert, and upheld the complaint in full, under Section 2.4 I challenge whether the advert which is the subject of this complaint "bring[s] advertising into disrepute".

14. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser."

26 comments:

  1. UCKG ARE THIEFS THEY ARE ALWAYS TAKLING ABOUT TITHES AND OFFERINGS AND WHAT YOU TO BE SELLING SOMETHING OF YOURS. THEY SAY THAT THEY HAVE CURED A WOMAN OF AIDS AND CANCER

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  2. I have been attending the UCKG for the past 5 years. I was in a very bad situation. I wanted to end my life. Now my life has totally changed and throughout these 5 years I've seen many people being healed and having their lives transformed by using their faith. I understand that many people may not believe, I myself didn't believe before and I could be one of those who persecute the church now... But for those who were in a very critical situation and now received a second change in life it is a great pleasure to appear on our church's publications to state what God did for us. It is written in the Bible, "there's nothing impossible for those who believe". We are considered by many as fouls for believing, but no one can't deny what God has done for us through this church. Thanks God for the UCKG!!! CMR

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  3. Hi CMR,

    You say that "no one can't [sic] deny what God has done for us through this church".

    One group of people who, of course, CAN deny this claim is the Advertising Standards Authority who have on more than one occasion banned the UCKG's false and misleading adverts.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I have attended the UCKG for many years being faithful and tithing. I will not condemn the church because it is not my place to do so but I sometime wonder had I saved the money that I believed I was planting great things for myself, where would I be? I have seen many testifying that I cannot deny. But I dont have any great blessing that I spend so many years praying, fasting for and tithing and sacrificing for to testify about. I stopped going to the UCKG church, I dont tell people that I am not going because I am ashamed as I was singing praises for the church.I now realise if there was one person I should have sang praises for is God himself. I am ashamed of where my life is at the moment as my friends are far but I am seeing the light slowly things are turning up for me.tO THOSE WHO GO TO CHURCH AND SEE BLESSINGS FOR YOU THANK gOD, TO THOSE WHO ATTENDED THE CHURCH AND DID ALL THEY COULD and prayed till the prayer came from the head and not the heart just stop and decide if its working for you. UCKG is not the ticket to heaven, You can still pray in another church or at home as long as its is not a place here you are bombarded with call to give fior faith, sacrifice,tithe etc

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  5. who are you to judge.leave judgement for God.and stop this once and for all.all you people talking bad about the church,why don't you all try and pray for you all salvation,which is the most important thing.rather than wasting time pointing fingers.LEAVE JUDGEMENT FOR GOD. AND SEEK FOR GOD BEFORE ITS TO LATE,when God will RETERN he will not ask you about any ONE but your self.so go put your lives in other.BEFORE JUDGING OTHERS.father forgive them.they know not what they do.all you people need prayer.

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  6. tied up,stop it the last days are coming when he will return.

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  7. Hi Anonymous,

    Which God do you recommend I should seek 'before its to late'? I've noticed that there are quite a few to choose from.

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  8. To all of you,people who are attending UCKJ ''help centre''....cause help centre they are not..definetly not...they are taking money from people to grow even more..as a business man,just go to google and and wright it down JUST;Edir Macedo...and the rest you can see with your eyes ...Thank's.

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  9. yeah u can check everything about Edir Macedo and pastores
    go to you tube and write Edir Macedo teaching pastores how to take money from people,in that church...for God to attend us in our prayers u dont need to give money...just pray and ask...and thats it.God said...ask and u ll recieve...

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  10. All These People Bad Mouthing The Church Need To Check Themselves To Be Honest YOU Didnt Receive An Answer Because YOU Were Deceiving YOURSELF Dont You Dare Blame The Church. Ya'll Need Help And Need To Ask For Forgiveness For Badmouthing The Temple Of God. GROW UP And Get On With Your Life When The Day Of Judgment Comes We Will See And You Will Be Sorry. Mama Always Tod Me If Youv'e Got Nothing Good To Say Don't Say It At All You Clearly Haven't Got Anything Good To Say And Clearly Never Listened To Your Parents. Get On With Your Life.

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  11. For all of you posting negative comments, dont you think it would have been a better idea if you had gone to UCKG open your heart and prayed for your salvation instead of riches. Salavation first then GOD will open the doors to all your blessing.

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  12. To the person who posted this article, you need GOD. I will pray for you.

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  13. im a youth from the y.p.g. UCKG, 16, and its easy to attack someone or something. It's what the world is use to and good at because there hearts are filled with evil or past events that left a mark that destroyed them and they cant seem to overcome it...but i was a teen who was living a lie with the problems of life at a young age fighting my parents running away but i i wanted a change like many people do but they dont know what to do and thank God the UCKG is a center ready to do that we are at Gods feet ready to make the life of a desert your living into flowing rivers never ending...but you didnt know that, did you?to bring you to justice after all the injusticies you've lived since a kid till this day ...i believe you guys are blessed and that your eyes are opened in the name of Jesus that our job is more serious than you can imagine and God is already molding your minds...fight against the evils working to destroys your families your jobs your happiness i pray in the name of Jesus to rebuke all curse that has harden your heart to get out and never come back...believe my friend and dont let the devil mislead you and take your life for the littest things...for the same way their is evil everywhere you go there is good waiting to break through God bless you guys to the fullest and give much fruit in the name of jesus.

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  14. "God forgive them"
    You people that write all of this rubbish are the ones that truely need help. You spend you entire lives criticising positivity; so much so, that you become blind to how unbalanced and foul youre lives are! Leave the church be! If its not directly effecting your health or state of mind, why are you having such a fit over it?

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  15. Hi Anonymous,

    I'm "having such a fit over it" because the Church were, at the time of writing, breaking the law.

    Worse still, they were breaking God's Law! Specifically, this one: "Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness." John 1:3-4

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  16. Hi - could I ask what the outcome of your complaints in 2010 was? Looking at the ASA website it doesn't seem as if there has been another adjudication since the 2009 one you mention at the top of the piece.

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  17. Hi Anonymous,

    As I remember, it was passed to the ASA's compliance team for unspecified further action (a common result for complaints that are similar to previous adjudications).

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  18. It is a shame, listen to the bishops message program at libertyradio.com 10pm every night and you will see, they are encouraging people to sacrifice all that they have, all that they are. When uneducated people think of sacrificing there believe that their financial sacrifice is a major part of this, because that is what the church promotes.
    They sacrifice financially for blesses, they sacrifice for the holy spirit, they sacrifice financially because there are told that this is the way. I have heard some very distributing things whist sitting in the helpcentre services. One of them being a mature lady, she said she does whatever the pastors tell her to do, even if she does not understand it, AND that’s was said in the form of a testimony. When the time comes for people to sacrifice ‘their all’ (as they call it), to attract God’s attention, I have never seen them direct the people to Matthew Ch 4 v6 -v 7.
    I thank the Lord for keeping me safe during my time at the church, and for freeing me when I needed a way out. I did not have the same vision as them. But at least I had a vision unlike other people who take their vision from the pastors.
    I really do not know what can be done about them.
    People keep a hold of your children, People keep a hold of your faith, do not put your life into their hands, their do NOTHING for you or your community except TAKE. Have you ever heard of a group who have told their members not to indulge in Christmas and all it entails, AND then tell them to go out carol singing to extract money from those who do, in the form of fund raising, Christmas carol, the money to be used to build up another helpcentre. I think My Lord Jesus would call them a den of thieves.
    The thing is when people stop going, they will close down and sell their properties and go, leaving behind some very hurt people. That’s what people do not understand, IT IS THERE PROPERTY that they are maintaining.
    I really could go on for longer. I am just grateful that I am free, and in Gods hands

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  19. I have been always told sacrifice and sacrife about 4 times a year all your saving to challenge our beloved Lord.
    UCKG is only preaching about give your tithes and offering. Apart from that sacrifice your all sell everything and give all your money this is what they preach.

    The biggest sacrifice is Jesus sacrificed his life to make us righteous from our sin. He suffered to save us and deliver us. What sacrifice do we need to do.

    The aim of UCKG is getting people from other churches to make more money in UCKG.

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  20. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Has anyone else at UCKG been asked to give their entire life savings to the church?

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  21. Although there are some good people in uckg, it is completely dangerous! I have seen them, joined them and therefore I can have an opinion about them. Their biggest 'poison' is that they associate God with material prosperity, this means instead of preaching the word of God, which is salvation of people's soul through the example of Jesus Christ (for those that they believe); they advertise faith as a means of economic success. Why people join? Because they need to hear the word of God, because they need peace in their heart. In a very smart way people become enslaved to uckg, which is a cynical business of making money without any variable costs. Good things can happen to people there as they can happen anywhere in the world because faith is faith and god is spirit anywhere and everywhere, but uckg advertises 'miracles' to get more cash. I am convinced after my personal experience, that they are consciously or unconsciously mislead as they see God as a business partner to their dreams (this is why they give tithe) to get back more than that into good luck and favour. Therefore, they are doing business with God and they believe in God, because he is powerful as creator of the world (therefore beneficial to them) not because God is love through the example of his Son Jesus Christ! Watch out all of you that they are dealing with them; for your own benefit

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  22. What I dont understand is that people complain and they go on that the church is stealing from them and the rest of what ever they continue to give false testemony to. You are not froced, nobody holds your hand and drages you to give anything. I didnt, untill I UNDERSTOOD WHY!!!!!!!

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  23. I still go there, im not forced to tithe or to offer, I do when I want, go by my faith through the word of God. Everyone is free there, rather im a blessing.

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  24. I agree with the first letter that UCKG is a Cult & this church should be stopped in all countries. Main aim is to get as much money from people whilst talking non-sense in the church not much about Jesus or the Bible. Every few weeks there is a Bishop coming & the ticket would be £35, then after another few weeks another a book by Edir Macedo also £35, it does not stop another few weeks and the Love School ticket yes £35 again IT IS DISGUSTING AND DEGRADING how do this SCROUNGING STOP.
    AND THE TARGETS THE POOR BLACK PEOPLE ARE 99PER CENT WITH A ONE MINORITY ATTENDING WHO GIVE UP BECAUSE THEY CANNOT STAND THE BLACKS.
    The Cult is all to brainwash people & give as much money as you can the more you give the more god will give you that is what the Pastors say each time HOW DISGUSTING.
    IS THAT WHAT JESUS SAID TO THE POOR?
    Once the Bishop said at Finsbury Park not even one engish at their church hall Excuse me the ENGLISH & MOST OTHER PEOPLE DO HAVE A BRAIN THAT WORKS AND WE ARE INTELLIGENT PEOPLE.
    As for other people if you want to be STUPID GO AHEAD AND GIVE AS MUCH AS YOU WANT TO UCKG IF YOU THINK THEY CAN CURE ONE AND ALL GO AND GIVE ALL YOUR CASH.

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    Replies
    1. Do you know how much it cost to hire the Wembley Arena? Or to print the books you are saying? How much did you give? Where you ever forced to? Did anyone go through your bag to see how much you had? Did you never hear them talking about the salvation of your soul? How much time of the service they dedicated in prayer and reading the bible on Sunday and Wednesdays and how much time telling you about offering and books? Yes they brainwash you according to Romans 12 which is the renewing of your mind, teaching you to think outside the box without being religious.
      Now why would people not stand the black's, are they being racist even the Bishop is white, i have seen English pastor's wife who comes on my channel, but if anyone wants to know you should go for yourself, check their youth program, their support group for victim of abuse, their Training Centre for the poor of the community, check what they are doing on Brasil distributing food to homeless and in South Africa too with the HelpCentre also in Portugal etc...

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  25. As i read this comments i am just wondering can God heal cancer? I don't see anywhere where the church claim they can heal or the oil healed, it says it helped, i believe the person did chemotherapy and follow the doctors advise as the UCKG always tell people to do. You can read the disclaimer in their site uckg.org but if i chose to have hope and believe that God can help me what is wrong with that. Don't the Muslim, Buddhist, Freemassons which some members of the Royal family are part and even satanist promotes their belief.
    Someone mentioned that all the want is money i would like to challenge you to leave all your belongings at home and go there for a meeting, they will certainly ask for offerings as every religion does, but see if they will force you to do anything if they do please call the police on them but if not stop saying that.

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