Worship leader and songwriter Sean Feucht has called out Twitter and Instagram for censoring posts containing praise and worship videos, and for shutting down an account of Bethel Church's senior leader Beni Johnson for sharing Bible verses.
“This account doesn’t exist,” says Twitter when you seek to visit Johnson’s profile “@prayfor5,” which had more than 32,000 followers.
In his tweet Thursday, Bethel Music’s Feucht included a screenshot of tweets from Johnson containing Bible verses that had been blocked with the note, “This Tweet may include sensitive content.”
Johnson’s latest post on Twitter carried the Bible verse Psalm 34:14, which reads, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
“Not only is big tech blocking worship videos, now they’re blocking Bible verses about PEACE! … Social media needs more peace, more worship, and less censorship of Jesus followers. @prayfor5,” Feucht wrote.
Another tweet by the Christian musician read, “This is what we’ve come to in America! Instagram is now classifying my WORSHIP videos as ‘harmful or false information.’ Religious Liberty? Freedom of Speech? Big Tech censorship?”
One of the videos censored was titled “Worshiping through the riots in St. Louis,” which showed a diverse group of people preaching a message of peace, faith and inclusion as music played in the background, according to Fox News.
Another video, titled “HOPE RALLY at the George Floyd Memorial site,” was censored. It showed people praying, singing and comforting one another, apart from various baptisms of those in attendance. It also showed people of different races crying together and hugging each other.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, former attorney general for Missouri, retweeted Feucht’s posts blasting Big Tech over the censorship.
“Cancel culture meets #BigTech. Now @instagram is censoring a Christian worship leader who wants to post videos of praise and worship from places where there has recently been unrest. And that doesn’t meet ‘community standards’? Can’t wait to hear the explanation for this,” Hawley wrote.
Earlier this week, Feucht wrote, “While @Facebook @instagram @Twitter promote the content of violence, rioting & destruction, they are actively CENSORING worship, prayer, peaceful protest & anything going against their fear-mongering narrative. My feed and many others is proof. #ChangeTheNarrative”
“I’m a leader in the faith community. I’m also an artist and I have a worship and missions ministry,” Feucht told Fox News. “One of the things we’ve been doing since [the recent U.S. protests] started happening is, we’ve been going to a lot of these places and bringing a unified — black, white Hispanic, Asian — just a unified coalition of people together, worshiping and praying, and peacefully protesting.”
The worship leader said he learned about the censorship after some of his followers told him they weren’t able to share or view any of his recent content. “I noticed the videos were being suppressed and they weren’t getting the normal traction. But I didn’t know this was the reason until I started getting tagged in people’s posts about it... So I blew the trumpet on it because this is crazy.”