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BAKKER’S SENTENCE TOO HARSH, COUNCIL SAYS

SHARE BAKKER’S SENTENCE TOO HARSH, COUNCIL SAYS

The North Carolina Council of Churches says former television preacher Jim Bakker's 45-year prison sentence for fraud didn't fit the crime, and he should instead be given 10 years ministering to the poor.

The council, which represents 25 denominations, unanimously passed a resolution over the weekend calling the sentence too harsh. But it also left little doubt that it believes the now-imprisoned PTL founder was guilty as charged."We are pleased that the exploited ministry of Jim Bakker has ended and that the public has been alerted to the possibilities of corruption in Christian television," the resolution said.

Bakker was convicted in October on 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy related to money-raising tactics at the PTL TV ministry.