Bath Christian group's 'God can heal' adverts banned

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A Christian group has been banned from claiming that God can heal illnesses on its website and in leaflets.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had concluded that the adverts by Healing on the Streets (HOTS) - Bath, were misleading.

It said a leaflet available to download from the group's website said: "Need Healing? God can heal today!"

The group, based in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, said it was disappointed with the decision and would appeal.

HOTS Bath said its vision was to promote Christian healing "as a daily lifestyle for every believer".

'False hope'

The ASA said the leaflet read: "Need Healing? God can heal today! Do you suffer from Back Pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction ... Ulcers, Depression, Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Paralysis, Crippling Disease, Phobias, Sleeping disorders or any other sickness?

"We'd love to pray for your healing right now!

"We're Christian from churches in Bath and we pray in the name of Jesus. We believe that God loves you and can heal you from any sickness."

The ASA said it had been alerted to the adverts by a complainant, and concluded that they could encourage false hope and were irresponsible.

HOTS Bath said: "It seems very odd to us that the ASA wants to prevent us from stating on our website the basic Christian belief that God can heal illness.

"All over the world as part of their normal Christian life, Christians believe in, pray for and experience God's healing; our ministry, in common with many churches, has been active in praying for God's healing (of Christians and non Christians) for many years."

The group said it had tried to reach a compromise, "but there are certain things that we cannot agree to - including a ban on expressing our beliefs".

The Healing On The Streets ministry was started by Causeway Coast Vineyard church in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, in 2005 and has been taken up by dozens of churches across the UK.

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