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UK Charity Commission to question Kenneth Copeland Ministries over controversial flu comments

(YouTube/Kenneth Copeland)Gloria Copeland appears in a screen capture of a video from Kenneth Copeland Ministries.

The U.K.'s Charity Commission will reportedly question Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) over a video in which co-founder Gloria Copeland appeared to suggest that her followers should avoid the lab-made flu shots because Jesus has already "redeemed us from the curse" of the illness.

Gloria Copeland, the wife of charismatic preacher Kenneth Copeland, did not specifically ask people not to take flu shots but heavily implied that it was unnecessary because Christians are already healed by Jesus.

"Jesus himself gave us the flu shot. He redeemed us from the curse of flu and we receive it and we take it and we are healed by His stripes. Amen?" Copeland said in a video that has since been viewed nearly 250,000 times across Facebook and YouTube.

"If you say 'well I don't have any symptoms of the flu' well great, that's the way it's supposed to be. Just keep saying that. 'I'll never have the flu, I'll never have the flu.' Put words, inoculate yourself with the Word of God," she continued.

The video, which was released at the end of January to promote KCM's Miracles on the Mountain healing event, was also posted on the ministry's U.K. website. KCM's Europe Branch is a registered charity headquartered in Bath, Somerset.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman told The Independent that it plans to contact KCM regarding the video posted on its website to "determine whether there is a regulatory role for the commission."

The agency had indicated that KCM's Europe branch had an income of £2.1 million (US$2.91 million) in the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, and had an expenditure of £2.5 million (US$3.46 million).

KCM, which was founded in Texas some 50 years ago, now has branches around the world including in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Copeland was one of the evangelical ministers who served as an adviser to President Donald Trump during the presidential campaign. Other members of Trump's evangelical council had distanced themselves from Copeland's remarks, including Johnnie Moore, the unofficial spokesman for the council.

On Tuesday, Moore said that the council did not support Copeland's position, adding, "I don't know a single person in the White House who would agree with that."

According to Public Health England, there had been 215 confirmed deaths from the flu in the U.K. this flu season.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that at least 53 children have died from the flu this season and almost 15,000 people have been hospitalized with the flu since October.

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