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Toufik Benedictus "Benny" Hinn is an Israeli televangelist best known for his regular "Miracle Crusades"—revival meetings or faith healing summits typically held in stadiums in large cities and afterward aired internationally in his television program, This Is Your Day. Hinn was born in 1952 in Jaffa, in the newly formed state of Israel, to parents of Greek-Egyptian, Palestinian, and Armenian-Lebanese ancestry. He was baptized by the patriarch of Jerusalem and nurtured in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Hinn's family relocated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1968, shortly after the 1967 Arab–Israeli War ("The Six-Day War").
He attended Georges Vanier Secondary School, but did not complete his education. Hinn claims in his novels that his father was the mayor of Jaffa at the time of his birth, that he was a first-class student despite being socially isolated as a youngster and having a stammer. According to Hinn, he traveled by charter bus from Toronto to Pittsburgh on December 21, 1973, to witness evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman's "miracle service." Although he never met her, he frequently attended her "healing services" and has credited her with having a positive influence on his life. In 1974, he was called to speak at Trinity Pentecostal Church in Oshawa about his spiritual experience, claiming to have been cured of his stuttering.
Benny Hinn and Suzanne Harthern were married on August 4, 1979. They have three daughters and a son. In 2010, Benny Hinn had an affair with fellow televangelist Paula White, which was one of the issues raised in Suzanne's divorce petition when she asked the court to end their marriage. Rumors circulated that they had spent nights together, and Hinn claimed that they were only in Rome to visit the Vatican for fundraising. In May 2012, Hinn announced that he and his former spouse had begun reconciliation during the Christmas season of 2011, citing Suzanne's addiction to prescription drugs and antidepressants, as well as his busy schedule and lack of time for his wife and children, as reasons for their split. In October 2012, Hinn announced that they would remarry, and on March 3, 2013, they tied the knot again at Holyland Experience Theme Park in a traditional ceremony that lasted over two hours, with many Christian leaders in attendance.
Aside from his extramarital affairs, Benny Hinn has had other scandals in his life. His staff reported allegations of inappropriate relationships with young boys, including the issue of Prophet Jordan's son and the questionable relationship he had with Benny Hinn. It was reported that Benny had gifted a $20,000 watch to the young man, which outraged the boy's father, who asked him to return it. It has also been revealed that when Benny Hinn visited Uganda, he allegedly sodomized a senior pastor in Kampala. Benny Hinn's wife, Suzanne, gave testimony to this, stating that she traveled with Hinn when the family visited Uganda for the first time, but the second trip was alone.
Benny Hinn's son, Joshua Hinn, was accused, along with two others, of brutally beating a physically challenged man at a crusade in Brazil. As the man could not hear or speak, he could not listen to what Hinn Jr. said. The poor man was taken outside the hall and tortured, and was then rushed to the hospital. Joshua and the others were arrested, and Benny Hinn had to pay a large sum of money to the tortured man's father to persuade him against pressing further charges.
In 1983, after moving to the United States, Hinn traveled to Orlando, Florida, and founded the Orlando Christian Center. Hinn began claiming that God was using him as a conduit for healings, and he began to hold healing services at his church, which he dubbed "Miracle Crusades". Soon, these events were being held at large stadiums and auditoriums across the United States and the world. Hinn's first nationally televised service was held in Flint, Michigan, in 1989. During the early 1990s, Hinn launched a new daily talk show called "This Is Your Day" on the Trinity Broadcasting Network owned by Paul Crouch. Hinn's ministry began to expand rapidly and was praised by many but also criticized by Christian leaders. In 1999, Hinn stepped down as pastor of the Orlando Christian Center and moved his ministry's administrative headquarters to Fort Worth, Texas. In November of 2007, United States Senator Chuck Grassley announced an investigation into the tax-exempt status of the six ministries under Benny Hinn's leadership.
On March 16, 2009, Grassley stated "My staff and I continue to review the information we've received from the ministries that cooperated, and we continue to weigh our options for the ministries that have not cooperated," noting that two of the ministries, Benny Hinn's and Joyce Meyer's, gave full financial disclosure. On January 6, 2011, Senator Grassley concluded the three-year investigation with no penalties and no definitive findings of wrongdoing. Although Hinn is widely criticized, there is also evidence that his ministry is creating positive change for the world. Benny Hinn Ministries claims to support nearly sixty mission organizations around the globe, as well as several orphanages worldwide, housing and feeding over one hundred thousand children a year and supporting forty-five thousand children daily because of his donors. Hinn has also authored several inspirational Christian books. It is a public record that Benny Hinn Ministries donated $100,000 for relief supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005 and $250,000 to the tsunami relief effort in 2007.
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