There have been numerous Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan scandals that have erupted over the past year and a half. The government distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic, but when the public learned that Joel Osteen’s mega-church in Texas was a beneficiary, they were not satisfied.

We previously reported that Osteen’s Lakewood Church, one of the largest in the country, received a $ 4.4 million PPP loan from the government for COVID-19 assistance. This has rubbed a few people the wrong way, especially since it is rumored that Osteen is worth $ 100 million and lives in a 17,000 square foot mega-mansion.

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Lakewood Church reportedly employed 368 part-time and full-time staff, and the $ 4.4 million went to them during quarantine. The Houston Chronicle reported today (October 8) that the church revealed it is repaying the loan and has been doing so since January.

Like many organizations temporarily shut down by the pandemic, this loan provided Lakewood Church with short-term financial assistance in 2020, ensuring that its approximately 350 employees and their families would continue to receive paychecks and health care benefits. complete, ”said a spokesperson for Lakewood.

This controversy has been fueled by conversations about church taxation, but this debate has been going on for decades.