Joel Osteen defends decision not to open church earlier

GettyImages-612332252

Millionaire Televangelist Prays for Houston, Declines to Open Megachurch as a Shelter

After a torrent of social media shaming, Houston-based preacher Joel Osteen is finally allowing Hurricane Harvey victims to seek refuge in his mega-church.

And by late Tuesday morning, when the shelter at the city's convention center reported twice as many evacuees as its capacity, Osteen's facility was publicly welcoming displaced Houstonians.

"Lakewood Church is inaccessible due to severe flooding!". On Sunday, Lakewood Church tweeted a listing of shelters available in the Houston area. The statement to ABC included photos indicating Lakewood is at this point dealing with its own flooding in and around the building, especially in what appear to be parking structures.

It also said that the church "will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm in helping our fellow citizens rebuild their lives".

US Tests Ballistic Missile Defence System Off Hawai Coast
The military has conducted three tests in total, but during a test in June, the interceptor failed as a result of human error. Earlier this week, an intermediate-range missile, identified by the North Koreans as a Hwasong-12, was sacked over Japan.

Senior Pastor, Osteen said "our hearts break as we see the damage and destruction in our city".

The Houston Lakewood Church has a capacity of nearly 17,000 but it has not been open to evacuees since the storm hit.

The megachurch also posted numerous photographs showing what they say is flooding around and inside the building.

He added: 'We try to use the best wisdom we can and the main thing is we've been here for 60 years to help this city, and be a blessing to others.

CeX hacked: up to two million accounts at risk
Personal data stolen by hackers include customer names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and some credit card information.

"We ARE open", he told me.

But Lakewood Church spokesman Don Iloff told the Washington Post that the building was flooded and the water was close to spilling over the building's floodgate, so allowing people into the building would not have been safe.

Iloff said that at least 200 people could be housed on the 2nd floor of Lakewood Church.

Lakewood is a nondenominational church that hosts about 52,000 attendees weekly and is one of the largest congregations in the U.S.

Palestinians Condemn Israeli MP's Presence Near al-Aqsa Mosque
Guterres will then travel to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, where the issue of a crippling electricity crisis will be on the agenda. Guterres is meanwhile visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories to discuss ways to revive the peace process.

On Monday, a post on the church's Facebook page had said it was a "collection site for distributing supplies to the Houston area shelters" and urged people to bring diapers and baby food. So far, there have been 16 confirmed deaths as the result of the tropical cyclone.

Latest News