Fears over TV Gospel Cash pleas

The People, UK/February 25, 2007
By Stewart Whittingham

US-style preachers are being allowed on British TV for the first time to appeal for viewers' cash.

Experts say it could open the floodgates for a £15million bonanza for the UK's 12 religious stations.

But the Church of England warned of a "clear potential for exploiting viewers".

And Lib Dem Culture spokesman Don Foster said: "We need to treat this sort of thing with extreme caution."

US "televangelist" Jim Bakker, 67, was jailed for pocketing 3.7million dollars in donations.

Another, Jimmy Swaggert, 71, was caught with hookers.

But Of com has given the go-ahead to UK based religious stations because those in Spain make live on-air appeals.

Howard Conder, 60, founder of London-based Revelation TV, said: "God has allowed us to be on a level playing field."

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