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David Cerullo came to prominence after purchasing the television studios abandoned by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and established what is perhaps the boldest of all Christian "prosperity gospel" ministries (that pays him an annual base salary of $1.52 million). With his father, semi-retired Pentecostal preacher Morris Cerullo, they assure followers that the more they give, the more God will return to them. In a recent TV spot, Morris, speaking first in tongues and then addressing the currently credit-challenged: "When you (donate), the windows of heaven ... open for you ... 100 fold." "Debt cancellation!" (The on-screen message: "Call now with your $900 offering and receive God's debt cancellation!")

In September, a judge in Stuart, Fla., was about to sentence pastor Rodney McGill for real estate fraud, but McGill was undaunted, addressing a courtroom prayer for his enemies: "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, for every witness called against me, I pray cancer in their lives, lupus, brain tumor, pancreatic cancer." The judge then sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

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