Twitter Blasts Joel Osteen Over Handling Of Harvey Refugees

Joel Osteen's 16,800 seat Lakewood Church in Houston

Houston's Lakewood Church has issued a statement regarding its response to Hurricane Harvey after being roundly accused on social media of refusing to open its doors to Hurricane Harvey evacuees.

Osteen, the famed pastor of the megachurch, took to Twitter on Saturday to post a prayer for those who have been affected by the storm, which has filled Houston with 20 to 40 inches of flood water.

Osteen's father-in-law, Donald Iloff, addressed the criticism with a statement in which he explained that the church - which used to be the Houston Rockets' stadium - was ready to open its doors to displaced Texans.

Joel Osteen denied accusations that his Lakewood Church was closed to Harvey relief following the extreme flooding in Houston that has left thousands of people without shelter.

Also, Lakewood Church wrote, "Lakewood is receiving people who need shelter".

CNN notes that there was a flood wall put in place at the church, which can seat over 16,000 people, years ago after a previous storm flooded the area.

The church released photos showing flooding on Sunday evening into Monday morning. near the lower level entrances of the building. He then posted photos of blow-up beds and shared that the church was preparing to open its doors to displaces victims of the hurricane.

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Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Speaking to The New York Post, Iloff continues to imply that the poor and unwashed would be better off relying on government assistance, saying the George R. Brown Convention Center "has everything inside there".

The church will open at noon today to collect donations of supplies and good old-fashioned American currency, the Chronicle adds.

Reads a statement posted Monday night on the Lakewood Church website: "We want to let you know that our hearts are with each of you and your families during this hard time".

Harvey, which tore through the Houston area last weekend, has forced evacuations and wiped out homes, and at least seven people have died.

Now, several Texas towns are bracing for the second impact of the already-catastrophic storm, according to ABC.

"Seriously quite sickening when people spread negative news without knowing the situation", one person tweeted.

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