October 4, 2009

Britain says no to U.S. televangelist

U.S. televangelist Benny Hinn was unable to attend a rally in London after British authorities denied him entry into the country, a spokeswoman says.

An unidentified spokeswoman for the ExCeL exhibition center in London said the Christian preacher from Texas was denied entry by border officials and was unable to attend a three-day conference in London, The Times of London reported Saturday.

The conference, which included an evangelical rally this weekend, was initially scheduled to begin Thursday.

Hinn reportedly was stopped and turned back by Border Agency officials after his private jet arrived in Britain this week. A second attempt by the televangelist to enter Britain at Luton airport was also rejected.

Under the U.K.'s tough new points-based system, religious workers must obtain a valid certificate of sponsorship prior to arriving in the U.K., an unidentified Border Agency spokesman told The Times. These rules are designed to make sure that a legitimate sponsor is linked to each application to enter the U.K. for work purposes.