Pastor Kong Hee of the Singapore megachurch City Harvest, along with five other church officials, suffered a setback on Monday when they failed to get the case dismissed in court, and will have to answer allegations that they misused millions in church funds to finance the pop-star career of his wife, singer Sun Ho.
The 49-year old pastor, who founded what has become one of the country's largest churches in 1989 as a non-denominational evangelical church, is denying the accusations. The defense lawyers have insisted that the prosecutors haven't shown enough evidence to indicate that a crime has been committed, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, though Presiding Judge of the State Courts, See Kee Oon, dismissed the argument.
The other officials on trial include Pastor Tan Ye Peng, members Chew Eng Han and Lam Leng Hung, and accountants Serina Wee Gek Yin and Sharon Tan ShaoYuen, all of whom will face 10-20 years if convicted. more >>
Chinese authorities in the city of Wenzhou recently removed all statues representing the Passion of Jesus from a hilltop Catholic site in the city, saying that the statues violated construction regulations.
The statues, located on Longgang Hill in what is considered to be China's Jerusalem, were either demolished or covered with brick. The statues included images of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and Saint Joseph, and each weighed about five tons.
According to UCA News, a Catholic news agency in China, workers arrived earlier this week to demolish the religious statues. Some of the statues were too heavy to lift, forcing workers to cover them with brick or use cranes to remove them from Longgang Hill. One observer of the demolition told UCA News that about 100 Catholics showed up to the site to witness the destruction, with some praying and others singing hymns. more >>
A massive landslide triggered by heavy rains in northeastern Afghanistan buried a village Friday, killing at least 2,100 people and displacing thousands of others. U.S. President Barack Obama has offered help even as further landslide is feared at the site amid ongoing rescue efforts.
"More than 2,100 people from 300 families are all dead," Naweed Forotan, a spokesman for the Badakhshan provincial governor, told Reuters Saturday. At least 100 others were injured.
A hill caved in due to days of heavy rain and buried a third of all houses in the village of Hobo Barik in Badakhshan province, bordering Tajikistan, with at least 10 meters of mud and debris Friday afternoon. more >>
A Christian nurse from Detroit with over 41 years of experience in her profession shared about her life-changing spiritual journey while working in a number of impoverished countries in Asia.
Vicki Augustiniak shares in Really, God-Bangladesh? the physical struggles she went through while traveling and working in several Asian countries, including Bangladesh and the Philippines, as well as the difficulties she faced making sense of things when confronted with the harsh reality people lived in. But she also shares in her book stories of human ingenuity that inspired her the most.
The author and registered nurse says that profits from Really, God-Bangladesh?, published by InspiringVoices, will go toward building a hospital in the Chilmary district of Northern Bangladesh. more >>
Cell phone footage of some of the chilling conversations of victims on board the South Korean ferry that sank on April 16 has been released. Over 100 people remain missing.
CNN obtained and translated the three-minute long audio clip, shared by South Korean national TV network JTBC. The forage was reportedly taken from a teenage boy's cell phone on the vessel.
Some of the chilling comments that can be heard on board include: "Wow, it's tilting a lot. We're tilting to this side. Can't move." "You think I'm really gonna die?" What's going on?" more >>
Although China is officially an atheist country, its Protestant population is likely to swell to 160 million by 2025, according to a religion expert, who says not many are prepared for "this dramatic change."
"By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon," Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University, told The Telegraph.
"It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change," adds Yang, author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule. more >>