YouTube temporarily shut down a popular sermon channel, claiming the videos violated their terms of agreement, including "deceptive practices, and misleading content or other Terms of Service violations."
SermonIndex reports they had more than 35 million views on more than 5,000 videos that were embedded tens of thousands of times across the web.
When SermonIndex reported the suspension, YouTube reportedly responded:
Thank you for your account suspension appeal. We have decided to keep your account suspended based on our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. Please visit https://www.youtube.com/yt/policyandsafety/communityguidelines.html for more information.
However, YouTube reinstated the page Feb. 1.
"We have re-reviewed your account and have concluded that it is not in violation of our Terms of Service. Therefore, we have unsuspended your account. This means your account is once again active and operational, and in good standing," YouTube told SermonIndex.
SermonIndex founder founder Greg Gordon says the shutdown was a tool of the enemy.
"We have run the ministry of SermonIndex.net for almost 14 years now by faith. Only twice there were abuse issues that happened in the past where I (felt) sick at the exact same time the event was happening. Once early on in roughly 2005 there were posts of pornography on the site, at the same time I felt very ill. Once I found out what was happening on the website and restored it, I suddenly felt better! I (felt) sick three days ago and felt very out of sorts, then when I found out what happened with the (YouTube) channel, I started to consider this a direct attack from the enemy. That same night, I fainted and fell and ended up at the ER. This has never happened to me with a flu or sickness. We have curried the prayer support of thousands of prayer (warriors)."
The temporary shutdown could be indicative of the growing religious discrimination in America. Though Donald Trump is now in office, Gordon says he sees the escalating signs of the times around us.
"Online persecution is easier to do, and (it) seems that the recourse or finding out the real truth can be hard. In China this happens to believers in forms of monetary (means) and salaries, (as) higher paid jobs are only given to members of the communist party. Also those who are found running a house church are evicted from an apartment and their name put on a list, so finding a rental afterward in the same city can be hard, this is a more subtle form of persecution but effective," Gordon says.
The video channel is now back up and running, with the sermons and views restored. Gordon says the experience with YouTube should be an example for how Christian ministries interact with the social media giant.
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