'God can heal' Christian website claim allowed by ASA

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A Bath Christian group can continue to say on its website that God can heal, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has said.

But a complaint about a leaflet available to download from Healing on the Streets (Hots) Bath's website has been upheld.

The leaflet said: "Need Healing? God can heal today!"

The ASA originally ruled against the claim, but has now decided the website falls outside its jurisdiction.

Hots Bath said the amended ruling was "great news" and "sets a clear precedent for Christian websites".

'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 originally said in February that the group could not make the claim in leaflets or on its website.

But in the new adjudication, which follows an independent review, it says the Hots Bath website is outside its jurisdiction.

'Express our beliefs'

The ASA said: "We acknowledged that Hots volunteers believed that prayer could treat illness and medical conditions, and that therefore the ads did not promote false hope.

"However we noted we had not seen evidence that people had been healed through the prayer of Hots volunteers, and concluded that the ad could encourage false hope in those suffering from the named conditions and therefore were irresponsible."

Hots Bath, which is based in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, said: "The revised adjudication does not apply to what is on our website, meaning we can continue to express our beliefs that God can and does heal, as well as providing information and testimonies explaining all about Healing on the Streets.

"Hots Bath will continue to fulfil its commitment to demonstrate the love of God through healing of body, mind and spirit on the streets of Bath and elsewhere."

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