The Christian Prayer Center is a website that claims to have thousands of people pray for you for a payment of 35 dollars. Never receiving detailed complaints before, whether or not the service was actually fulfilled was never investigated. That is until a family with a child dying of a rare terminal illness wrote a furious letter to the Attorney General. They were hopeless and looking for a miracle. This website claimed to have thousands of people praying who are being led by a pastor. The website was even complete with testimonials of how their prayers were answered and miracles were happening. As it turns out, it all was a sham and this family’s child is still dying. After being charged a second and third time, the child’s father contacted the Attorney General. As a result, the owner of christianprayercenter.com and its Spanish-language counterpart, oracioncristiana.org, have been ordered to pay up to $7million in restitution to an estimated 125,000 desperate consumers who reached out for prayers in their times of need. The website owner Benjamin Rogovy doesn’t believe he was committing a crime here but agreed to pay the money.
“How Christian ‘pay-to-pray’ scams victimize the poor and the desperate,” The Guardian, March 20, 2016, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/how-christian-pay-to-pray-scams-victimize-the-poor-and-the-desperate/
Student Researcher: Joyce Chery, and Samantha Golson, Indian River State College
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College