Benny Hinn was born in Jaffa, Israel and grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Hinn was raised an Eastern Orthodox, having had an Armenian mother and a Greek father, though he says he was given his religious training by Catholic nuns. However, during his high school years in Toronto, Hinn converted to the Born Again, or Pentecostal, Christian faith.
Now, Hinn leads one of North America’s largest ministries. It has been said that after Billy Graham, Hinn “draws the largest crowd of any evangelist today.” Hinn is known, and has been criticized for his theology and unorthodox Biblical interpretations, including his penchant for “extra-Biblical” knowledge gained through revelation. You can view a breakdown of his teachings here or just browse his Twitter feed, which is full of inspirational, religious messages.
Hinn and his followers are known for their adherence to the “Prosperity Gospel,” meaning they believe that through faith, all things are possible, including financial wealth, physical health, success at work and personal fulfillment.
Hinn has also been criticized for his finances. He is thought to be quite wealthy and unlike many famous North American televangelists (including Pat Robertson and Billy Graham), Hinn refuses to join the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, an organization that subjects its members to seven standards of accountability and transparency.
What would you guess Hinn’s political views would be? Republican? Conservative?
Well, he did (sort of) defend Obama. Hinn says he is often asked if Obama is the anti-Christ. His reply:
He is not, he is not the anti-Christ. He’s a good man, a Christian man. I pray for him. I pray that God will give him success. And I pray that He will support his will.
And Hinn is often the guest of various world leaders, including the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and high-ranking members of China’s Communist Party. But Hinn insists that his collusion with these politicians is only to spread his teachings and those of Jesus Christ.
The truth is, he’s difficult to nail down. Hinn wisely avoids political controversy as it could divide his ministry–and he’s already the subject of enough controversy, I would imagine. However, there are some indications he would be socially conservative. An article on his website speaks in favor of anti-gay marriage protestors, for example. And yet another article on his website casts Pro-Life advocates in a positive light.
So, on these issues, I guess Hinn would be about what you’d expect him to be.