SINGAPORE : City Harvest Church (CHC) has said it stands by the five members of the church who have been charged with misuse of church funds.
In a statement, Aries Zulkarnain, the executive pastor and a founding member of the church, said that the Commissioner of Charities (COC) has confirmed that Kong Hee, the senior pastor, and Tan Ye Peng, the deputy senior pastor, will continue to preach at the church.
In the same statement, Pastor Bobby Chaw, who is in charge of missions at the church, said that City Harvest had over the last two years taken action to comply with the code of governance set out by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
Mr Chaw added that the church was also surprised that COC chose to suspend the five members and three others without prior notice.
The church also stated that the Crossover Project is not about one person’s singing career.
It views the project as an outreach effort using Sun Ho’s songs and music to engage people and places that "would never otherwise hear the gospel".
Meanwhile, many church members rallied around Pastor Kong Hee and the four senior members who have been charged, saying they will stand by them no matter what.
Others like Brian Liu said that when news broke of the alleged misuse of funds, he was initially shocked, but felt he would wait for legal evidence to make a judgement.
The 30—year—old has been an active member of City Harvest Church for the past 12 years.
He said: "Based on the assumption that the allegations are true, to me after this, if that should be the case, the church should be even more well governed, if anything. Systems would be even stronger. I would even have less of an issue giving to the church in the future."
In an email interview, another member, entrepreneur Elim Chew, said she will continue to give donations to City Harvest as it is an expression of her faith.
Regardless of the inquiry into the church, she feels the church has been dedicated in helping the community for decades and she will continue to support it.
There are netizens who want to know where the S$24 million that was siphoned off from the church has gone, and have called for the church to be more accountable.
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