Mission Congo: how Pat Robertson raised millions on the back of a non-existent aid project
One of the stranger sights of the refugee crisis that followed the 1994
Rwandan genocide was of stretcher-bearers rushing the dying to medical tents, with men running alongside reciting Bible verses to the withering patients.The bulk of the thousands of doctors and nurses struggling to save lives – as about 40,000 people died of cholera – were volunteers for the international medical
charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The Bible readers were hired by
the American televangelist and former religious right presidential
candidate, Pat Robertson, and his aid organisation, Operation Blessing International.But on Robertson's US television station, the Christian Broadcasting
Network, that reality was reversed, as he raised millions of dollars
from loyal followers by claiming Operation Blessing was at the forefront
of the international response to the biggest refugee crisis of the
decade.It's a claim he continues to make, even though an official
investigation into Robertson's operation in Virginia accused him of
"fraudulent and deceptive" claims when he was running an almost non-existent aid operation.
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