Televangelists Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Peter Popoff Received Millions in PPP Loans

Televangelist Peter Popoff (inset) hawks his controversial miracle spring water. | Screenshots: YouTube

More than 10,000 religious organizations, including a few televangelists, have received over $3 billion under the federal Paycheck Protection Program, a large chunk of which went to groups affiliated with the Catholic Church, according to a partial list of recipients released this week.

Televangelists Jim Bakker and Peter Popoff received between $350,000 and $1 million each in COVID-19 financial aid, according to The Guardian.

Bakker hosts “The Jim Bakker Show” in Blue Eye, Missouri, and made his first appearance back on the show alongside his wife, Lori, on Wednesday, after suffering a stroke back in May.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, Jim and his former wife, Tammy Faye Bakker, were among America’s most famous televangelists and known for their luxurious living and expensive cars until their “Praise the Lord,” or PTL, empire crashed down amid sex and financial fraud scandals for which they served five years in prison.

Popoff, who leads People United for Christ in California, previously amassed millions from a “prophetic anointing” that was later revealed to have come, at least in part, from information fed to him over radio by his wife, Elizabeth. In 2019, the U.K.’s Office of Communications, also known as Ofcom, slapped a satellite television service provider with a fine of over $32,000 for airing a religious program featuring Popoff hawking miracle spring water that promises to cure cancer and other diseases.

Jimmy Swaggart, who leads the Family Worship Center in Louisiana and was earlier defrocked by the Pentecostal Assemblies of God in the early 1990s over sex scandals, got even a bigger amount — between $2 million and $5 million.

Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries received between $5 million and $10 million.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar