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Joel Osteen responds to accusations of closing church doors to Harvey evacuees

30 August 2017

On Tuesday, Pastor Joel Osteen's Houston megachurch opened its doors to people who had been displaced by the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

It all started after Pastor Joel Osteen tweeted out the message "Victoria & I are praying for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey".

In a statement, Osteen said the church "never closed its doors" and was serving as a relief supply distribution center.

A notice on Lakewood's Facebook page on Sunday said that "Lakewood Church is inaccessible due to severe flooding", and referred evacuees to "safe shelters around our city".

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Social media users have been sharing video and photos depicting the flooding surrounding the church. Despite avoiding damage during #Hurricane Harvey, Osteen has refused to open the doors [VIDEO] of his mega-church to thousands who are in need in the area.

US Coast Guard Lt. Mike Hart said the coast guard is receiving up to 1,000 calls per hour from people needing to be rescued.

Is this true? "Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church Closes Doors to Displaced Harvey Victims".

On Monday, the New York Post and the New York Daily News reported that the almost 17,000-person capacity megachurch had refused to open its doors to flood victims.

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The problem, as critics have been quick to point out, is that Osteen's church initially went on Facebook and gave the impression that it was unable to assist victims due to the flooding. Speaking to The New York Post, Iloff continues to imply that the poor and unwashed would be better off relying on government assistance, saying the George R. Brown Convention Center "has everything inside there".

To join with Lakewood Church and Samaritan's Purse in helping our community recover, please visit the link in our bio.

CNN published photos of Lakewood Church, located at Norfolk and Edloe streets in Houston and formerly host to the NBA's Houston Rockets, showing standing water inside the building.

It is not clear whether Osteen evacuated ahead of the storm. At least nine people have died to date as a result of the storm. "This is insane. People are saying we've locked the church". As of Tuesday, more than 17,000 people have sought refuge from the storm, according to the American Red Cross.

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Joel Osteen responds to accusations of closing church doors to Harvey evacuees