Youth Pastor, Church Charged in Fake Kidnapping

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By Audrey Barrick, Christian Post Reporter
July 28, 2012|1:13 pm

A youth pastor and his church in Pennsylvania were charged Friday for conducting a fake kidnap situation with a group of young students.

Andrew David Jordan, 28, and the Glad Tidings Assembly of God were charged with false imprisonment and simple assault.

"This is a sad case for all those involved," said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico, according to The Associated Press.

Marsico recognized that while the pastor and church might have had good intentions in wanting to teach the youth group about the reality of religious persecution, he said they "in essence terrorized several children."

The mock kidnapping occurred in March. During a youth group meeting, teens were taken at gunpoint (with an unloaded gun) with their heads covered and loaded into a van.

A 14-year-old girl who filed a complaint against the church told ABC News earlier that she was terrified and unaware that it was not real.

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"I thought 'why not tell us that it was a joke?'"

The teens were taken to the pastor's house where they found the pastor covered in blood.

The staged event was designed to teach the youths about the persecution Christians often face in other countries and to prepare them for such situations should they serve as missionaries.

According to Marsico, some of the teens were not members of the church.

Other pastors have commented on the case, saying the Pennsylvania church took it too far.

Tim Stevens, executive pastor at Granger Community Church in Indiana, tweeted at the time, "Stupid church trick? Yeah, I'd have to say a fake kidnapping qualifies as stupid."

 

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