Is City Harvest Church a cult? Are they brainwashing kids?
The Temasek Times yesterday reported that the Singapore Education Ministry has been alerted to the City Harvest Church carrying out proselytizing activities (dakwah) in schools.
A concerned parent had appealed to the Education Minister to act decisively on curbing the influence exerted by mega churches on Singaporean youths who are the group most vulnerable to cults.
“certain persons and groups have been termed ‘compliance professionals’ — high pressure salespersons, con artists, advertisers, fund raisers and other people who have become skillful at employing some fundamental psychologic principles that underlie the influence process”
— ‘Group Psychodynamics and Cults‘ by Prof. Margaret Singer,
Department of Psychology, University of California Berkeley
Unlike Islam in Malaysia which is regulated by officialdom, Christian lay preachers do not necessarily possess legitimate accreditation (tak bertauliah). Even Hannah Yeoh preaches to the congregation.
Alleged Subang Jaya connection in money laundering
Reverend Kevin Loo heads the City Harvest Church KL located in SS13, Subang Jaya.
The Subang Jaya City Harvest Church acknowledges its beginnings under the “guidance and advice” of the church founder Kong Hee who is currently facing criminal fraud charges in the Singapore court.
See also Hannah Yeoh’s Twitter message (below) to Kevin Loo before the scandal broke.
Various Singapore media have widely reported that multi-million dollar donations were allegedly laundered through the City Harvest Church’s Subang Jaya affiliate.
Mega churches spreading in SE Asia
Below is a screenshot of the ‘About Us’ webpage of Subang Jaya’s City Harvest Church.
Note that this Subang Jaya church also proclaims the academic title “Dr Kong Hee” with regard to its founder.
The church claims that he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Business Administration from “the prestigious Hansei University, South Korea” in 2008.
Hansei is a small, private university set up by the evangelical church.
According to its website, “The University originally started its mission as the Full Gospel Theological College and changed its name to Soonshin University. In 1997, the name was again changed to Hansei University.”
Its chancellor is said to be the pastor of the Yoido Full Gospel Church, which according to the Hansei wesbite, “is the largest church in the world” (reflecting the South Korea mega churches phenomenon).
The Hansei University website also said, “more than 8,000 students have graduated, going to evangelize Korea and the World”.
Is the reverend’s doctorate dodgy?
At issue is not the Hansei honorary PhD in business admin but his theological ones.
The bona fide of Kong Hee’s reputed degrees in divinity from New Covenant International University (NCIU) is being hotly debated in Singapore.
The Channel News Asia forum has been discussing whether NCIU, which offers distance-learning programmes, is merely a degree mill.
Why has such a big Singapore story with a local connection (Subang Jaya) not been explored by the MCA-owned newspaper? After all, the scandal ought to be of grave concern to The Star‘s English-speaking readership comprising in part of Anglophiles and charismatic Christians.
It’s beginning to look like this omission is deliberate in order to shield the evangelist faction in the DAP from bad publicity.
MCA risks being viewed as problematic to BN
The Star‘s subversion is posing a thorny problem not only to its owner Huaren (the MCA investment arm) but to the Barisan Nasional as well.
Deputy BN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin today openly called on component parties in the coalition to pull their weight in the coming general election and not just rely on Umno.
Umno is clearly losing patience with MCA and how not to when the ex-Star NUJ president can exchange “Big Mama“-“hu hu hu” tweets with Hannah Yeoh knowing the Star bosses’ legendary indifference.
MCA must stop relying on the pro-establishment Malay blogosphere to counter opposition attacks against the party and instead compel its own mainstream media machinery to immediately start pulling their weight!
Not only is it Umno that’s losing patience with MCA but Malay bloggers too. Should another DUMC, apostasy case affecting Muslim(s) or Ramadan pork ribs fiasco recur, the backlash in Malay blogosphere will be more severe this time around.
Whatever shreds of goodwill left for MCA among the BN’s non-Chinese supporters is fast dissipating due to the Gunting dalam Lipatan laxity – if not outright treachery – that the Chinese party allows its Christian newspaper to get away with.