A Facebook group managed by celebrity Catholic lay preacher Bo Sanchez, one of the most famous religious leaders in the Philippines, is ruffling feathers among the faithful after a netizen called him out for seeking money from his subscribers.
Netizen Lorenz Suello shared a screenshot of Sanchez’s page called “Bo Sanchez Supporters” last week, writing in his caption: “Mr. Sanchez, ah, why do you have to ask for payment in exchange for joining your Facebook group.”
Each subscriber to the group is required to pay PHP269 (US$5) per month, meaning that with 2,000 subscribers, Sanchez earns PHP6.456 million (US$128,095) per year in revenue.
In his post, Suello goes on to quote 2 Corinthians, in which the apostle Paul writes, “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”
Suello’s post appears to have struck a major chord among Filipinos, being shared almost 3,800 times and attracting the attention of many of Sanchez’s supporters, many of whom criticized Suello (and at least one of whom cursed him).
In a Facebook message sent to Coconuts Manila, however, Sanchez maintained that he doesn’t earn a single cent from the page, which he sad was “for people who VOLUNTARILY choose to support our mission.”
“I don’t earn from this,” he continued. “I don’t have a salary from my ministries. I also donate all my book royalties to the ministry. (As an entrepreneur, I support myself and my family by my small private businesses.)”
“All donations go to our mission work. We have many ministries for evangelism and ministries for the poor — such as our home for the abandoned elderly, our home for sexually abused children, our center for pregnant women in crisis, etc. We’ve been doing this ministry for 40 long years already,” Sanchez added.
Sanchez is the author of many bestselling books, such as You Can Make Life Beautiful and My Maid Invests in the Stock Market…and Why You Should, Too!.
The son of a preacher, Sanchez is also known for giving stock market advice to fans through a subscription group called the Truly Rich Club, which charges subscribers PHP5,964 (US$118) per year. He’s also the founder of the Catholic group Light of Jesus Family, which counts at least 20,000 members in the Philippines and around the globe.
Read more Coconuts Manila articles here.
This article, Preacher Bo Sanchez called out for seeking payment from subscribers, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!