17/11/2017 5:41 PM AEDT | Updated 17/11/2017 10:23 PM AEDT

Jim Bakker Claims 'Merry Christmas' Was Outlawed

Televangelist fires a new salvo in the "War on Christmas."

Disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker claims the phrase “Merry Christmas” had been banned by the government. 

Now, he says, it’s only legal because Christians fought to bring it back. 

“They outlawed ‘Merry Christmas’ a few years ago and you know it,” he said on his show on Thursday. “You couldn’t even say ’Merry Christmas’ at Walmart and the Walmart greeters told me they weren’t allowed to say it.”

Bakker claimed “we all started writing” and “changed it.”

The comments were posted online by Right Wing Watch.

Walmart made headlines in 2005, when greeters were told to say “happy holidays,” a policy the company reversed the following year.

However, the phrase “Merry Christmas” was not outlawed, as Bakker said. 

Bakker built a Christian TV, theme park and resort empire worth $180 million in the 1980s, but he resigned in shame after a sex scandal and eventually served four years in prison for fraud.

In his latest incarnation, Bakker hawks survivalist food and other doomsday prepper supplies to help Christians survive a predicted “tribulation.” 

Photo gallery Ugly Christmas Sweaters For Couples See Gallery