Winnipeg, Manitoba (February 11, 2019) – The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ, an international religious organization, launched a major defamation lawsuit against Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)- The Fifth Estate’s TV program “Church of Secrets”—that they aired in November 2018.
The Notice of Action against CBC and those involved in the Fifth Estate program had been served on the people being sued. The actual lawsuit was filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg, in a historic city where the first congregation of Iglesia Ni Cristo was registered in Canada.
A news conference organized on behalf of the INC held in Winnipeg on Friday announced that the charges were based on the scandalous, outrageous and false accusations against the Church in that program.
At the news conference, which was attended by several Ministers of the Church, members of the Church, and the Church’s lawyers, the following points were made by Minister Rod Bruno and Minister Sidney Santos:
- The Church is seeking, above all, vindication for the false allegations made against it by CBC’s Fifth Estate program and, Timothy Sawa and Bob McKeown. There was and is no evidence to support these false allegations;
- The Church is seeking an apology and retraction for the misrepresentations and falsehoods asserted by the Fifth Estate program. CBC is not prepared to offer an apology and retraction and have therefore left the Church with no alternative but to pursue this lawsuit to hold them accountable for these grossly unjust accusations which were based on nothing more than innuendo and speculation;
- The program included an allegation by an individual which turned out to be false. Well before the program aired, the individual disavowed the information she had provided to CBC. CBC should have known full well that what the individual said was false and had been disavowed, yet they proceeded to include it as part of the program.
- The program referred to Iglesia Ni Cristo as the “Church of Secrets.” The point highlighted at the news conference that the Church had nothing to hide. The Church has been very involved in outreach programs, humanitarian programs of all sorts and has participated in assisting victims of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and tornados;
- The Ministers made clear at the news conference that the members of the Church are law-abiding, God-fearing and peaceful citizens of Canada and the rest of the world.
The Church could not remain silent and do nothing about these spurious allegations against it that have stained and damaged the Church’s reputation. The Church is determined to hold CBC accountable for the gross misrepresentations that tainted its reputation worldwide.
For further information on the lawsuit, please contact Jay Prober, (204)957-1205, one of the lawyers for the Church.