The high-profile trial of Singapore megachurch pastor Kong Hee and five other City Harvest Church officials for misusing millions of church funds to pay for his wife's popstar career, resumed on Monday. Kong's wife, singer Sun Ho, is expected to take the witness stand this week.
Channel NewsAsia pointed out that the trial, which began in May 2012, is turning out to be one of the longest-running criminal trials in the country. Kong and the five other officials are accused of musing 24 million SGD ($19.2 million) in donated money. The defense has argued that City Harvest's church board never passed a resolution that indicated who exactly has the power to make decisions regarding the funds.
Sun Ho has not been charged herself in the case, though was temporarily removed from her position as executive director of the 30,000 member City Harvest, which was founded by Kong in 1989. The singer is expected to be one of the witnesses called to the stand this week, along with the first of the six church officials on trial. more >>
Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas has argued that the most compassionate thing to do regarding the current border crisis involving immigrant children is to build a fence and prevent them from entering the country.
"The most compassionate thing we can do for these children is to secure the border," the pastor said in an interview on Fox News' "Fox & Friends," broadcast on Thursday.
He used a comparison of home swimming pools in Texas: "If you're a homeowner with a swimming pool that doesn't have a fence around it, and a neighborhood child wanders in and drowns, you're liable because you have enticed that child into a dangerous situation. The remedy is to build a fence." more >>
Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. announced Wednesday a documentary on what is considered to be the most famous Christian worship band in the world – Hillsong UNITED.
"Hillsong – Let Hope Rise" is currently shooting the band on five different continents. Michael John Warren, who helmed Jay-Z's "Face to Black," is directing the Australia-based band, while Matthew Weaver of MediaWeaver Entertainment and Jonathan Bock of Grace Hill Media are producing. The film is expected to release worldwide on April 3, 2015.
The movie will chronicle Hillsong's remarkable journey from a youth group band at Hillsong Church to a worldwide sensation that plays sold-out stadium concerts across the globe. In a joint statement, Alcon Entertainment principals Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson voiced their excitement over "Hillsong- Let Hope Rise." more >>
Embattled Pastor Kong Hee of the Singapore megachurch City Harvest, who is facing court charges of misusing millions in church funds, ministered at the Oasis Church in Los Angeles, calling it one of the "greatest" and "most responsive" churches in the city.
"What a privilege to minster at OCC's newly renovated 100-year-old Cathedral that it has recently purchased," Hee wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday, sharing numerous photos of the church, which is led by pastors Philip and Holly Wagner.
Swedish megachurch leader Ulf Ekman who formerly led the Word of Life charismatic church in Uppsala explained his decision to convert to Roman Catholicism, and revealed that he was "bombarded with questions" by his congregation, some of whom understood his decision, and some who didn't.
"Well, it became very quiet. And when it becomes quiet in a charismatic church, then you know people are thinking. When I'd finished there was actually spontaneous applause. That surprised me a lot and many, many people came up to me afterwards," Ekman said in an interview with Catholic Herald.
"Then, the day after, we had a question-and-answer session. I stood for two hours and they bombarded me with questions about Catholicism. The rest of the week all our pastors were ready to help people and answer questions. Every night there were sessions for that. So there has been a mixed feeling. Some understand. Some don't understand at all." more >>
Participants at Pastor Ed Young's Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, attempted a world-record 17,000 square foot chalk portrait of Jesus on Wednesday as part of Easter activities.
"Easter is always a time of celebration, reflection, and renewal. This giant chalk drawing on our church's parking lot is just a great way to connect with so many people and to remind us what this week is all about," Young, who leads the 20,000-member congregation, said before the event.
"The message is clear - it's all about JESUS!! #ArtOfEaster," Young wrote on his Facebook page. "The portrait is done. History has been made. And now it's time to tell HIS STORY this Easter." more >>