Earlier this week, a late April Fool's hoax made its debut, alleging that popular U.S. pastor Joel Osteen had renounced Christianity. Osteen is the pastor of a mega-church in Houston, Texas, and has a worldwide broadcast ministry that has made him one of the most recognizable Christian figures in the U.S.
The elaborate hoax involved a fake blog, YouTube videos, and a fake Twitter account (which has now been suspended) that laid out the fake Osteen's reasoning for no longer believing in Christianity. From the fake blog:
I believe now that the Bible is a fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book that has been altered hundreds of times. There is zero evidence the Bible is the holy word of God. In fact, there is zero evidence "God" even exists.
Though Osteen and his ministry have not officially acknowledged the hoax, Osteen gave an interview to ABC and confirmed that he is still a Christian.
"All is well," said Osteen. "I still have my faith, nothing has changed."
Osteen also stated that he isn't upset about the hoax, and that it is somewhat amusing.
"I'm really not angry," said Osteen. "I don't feel like a victim. I feel too blessed that life is too short to let things like this get you down."