Christianity in General
October 18, 2018
October 8, 2018
Creepy looking Brian Batke, charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation
The Surrey, B.C. church whose former elder, Brian Batke, is facing charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation was at the centre of another sexual assault case one year ago.
Samuel Emerson was a pastor and his wife Madelaine was a member of the Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church when they were charged with 25 combined counts in October 2017, including sexual assault and touching for a sexual purpose.
The Emersons have since pleaded not guilty.
Authorities said those alleged crimes took place between 2015 and 2017, while the allegations against Batke date all the way back to 2005. The elder ended his association with the church that same year, according to police.
Surrey RCMP said the allegations against Batke, which were not reported to them until 2017, involve a victim who was underage at the time.
CTV News does not identify victims of sexual assault, and the case is subject to a publication ban that otherwise prevents identifying information from appearing in the media.
Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church did not return calls for comment from CTV News on Thursday, and 72-year-old Batke was not interested in speaking about the case outside court.
“No comment,” Batke said.
Apart from Batke’s association with the church, authorities revealed he has been a driver for the Coast Mountain Bus Company for about 13 years.
“We are releasing details on his community associations and employment because our investigators feel there may be other victims who have yet to come forward,” Cpl. Elenore Sturko said. “They’re looking to talk to these people, if they’re willing.”
TransLink, which runs Coast Mountain Bus Company, told CTV News that Batke has been placed on administrative leave and won’t be returning to work pending the outcome of the case.
October 8, 2018
Two Toledo Pastors are under arrest and charged with sex crimes against kids. The FBI is investigating this case. Agents have arrested and charged pastor Cordell Jenkins and pastor Anthony Haynes for alleged sex crimes against children.
August 17, 2018
Mark Alan Feeney and David John Croyle accused of sexual assault of a minor
KITTANNING (KDKA) — A church pastor and a fire marshal in Armstrong County are accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.
State police say 55-year-old Mark Alan Feeney, of Applewold, Pa., and 60-year-old David John Croyle, of Kittanning, are facing statutory sexual assault charges.
The two men allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy multiple times between April and September of 2016.
Croyle is a church pastor, Kittanning newspaper publisher and the vice president of the Kittanning City Council.
Feeney is a former fire chief and the present fire marshal for two Buffalo Township volunteer fire companies. He has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case. Feeney also was on the Applewold Town Council at one time.
Investigators tell KDKA the victim first met Croyle when he applied for a job at the Kittanning Paper.
Croyle allegedly sexually assaulted the teenager inside his apartment.
Troopers say they have text messages and other digital evidence to back up the victim’s account.
Feeney allegedly assaulted the teenager at his home on Ridge Avenue.
Investigators say Feeney and Croyle are acquaintances and they are not ruling out the possibility that Croyle may have introduced the victim to Feeney. They also say there’s no mistaking that both suspects knew the victim was minor.
“It was no accident. There was no mistake of age. It was an intentional act. They knew what they were doing,” Trooper Robert Rottman said.
Croyle and Feeney are in the Armstrong County Jail, both held on $150,000 bond.
August 16, 2018
CAMBRIDGE, MA—Shedding further light on a long history of attempts to protect itself from accusations of criminal activity, biblical scholars at Harvard Divinity School reported Wednesday they have found evidence that the early Catholic church covered up for three wise men who molested baby Jesus. “After deciphering fragments of a previously unknown gospel, we now have textual documentation that clearly delineates abuse by three magi who arrived in Bethlehem and inappropriately touched the newborn Christ Child as He lay in the manger,” said Professor Raymond White, recounting the extensive efforts made by the church to scrub the story from early versions of the Bible and to discredit Jesus’ account of the event in His later sermons. “As described in newly discovered scraps of papyrus dating back nearly 2,000 years, these three magi were powerful men of great influence. Whatever moments of weakness or temptation they may have exhibited on that first Christmas morning, the early church must have seen fit to protect their reputations against any accusation from the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, who were, after all, very poor.” White went on to note that additional passages from the text explain how the three wise men were quietly relocated and allowed to continue their work in a remote village in Persia.
Willow Creek megachurch pastor and entire board resign amid sexual misconduct investigation of founder
August 14, 2018
Bill Hybels, proving for the millionth time that the only reasons to get into the preacher game are sex and money. And mega-sex.
Bill Hybels, 66, resigned from his position as pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in April after a series of sexual misconduct claims he described as “flat-out lies” became public. Wednesday, lead pastor Heather Larson announced her resignation and that of other church elders, who she said are sorry for not handling the allegations against Hybels properly.
“In recent days and weeks, it has become clear to me that this church needs a fresh start,” said Larson. “The staff, this staff that I dearly love, they also need a clean running lane to heal, to build, to dream.”
She read a statement to a full congregation during a meeting at the church’s South Barrington, Illinois, campus, where the news was met with applause and also protest with at least one person approaching the stage, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“We can now see this investigation was flawed. … We viewed the allegations through the lens of trust we had in Bill, and this clouded our judgement,” elder Missy Rasmussen said in a statement posted to the church’s website.
More: Megachurch pastor Bill Hybels resigns, calls sexual accusations ‘flat-out lies’
Rasmussen said Hybels, who has been accused of suggestive comments, an uninvited kiss, hotel room invitations and an extended affair with a married woman, worked “without the kind of accountability he should have had.” She also said the elders believe Hybels did not publicly admit the extent of his actions.
The elders apologized for not believing the women who came forward, some who directly worked for Hybels.
Lead teaching pastor Steve Carter resigned on Sunday, after hearing of “horrifying” allegations against Hybels reported by The New York Times.
Regional campus pastor Steve Gillen was named Willow Creek’s interim lead pastor. Until someone finds out about Trixie down at the local strip club.
August 10, 2018
Visual tributes to the demise of religion in Europe –
August 10. 2018
South Carolina churches are shedding thousands of members a year, even as the state’s population grows by tens of thousands.
In the place we call the Bible Belt, where generations have hung their hats on their church-going nature and faithful traditions, an increasing trend of shrinking church attendance — and increasing church closings — signals a fundamental culture shift in South Carolina.
At least 97 Protestant churches across South Carolina have closed since 2011, according to data from the Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist and Southern Baptist denominations. An untold number of other closings, certainly, are not captured by these statistics.
Many churches are dying slow deaths, stuck in stagnation if not decline. And if they don’t do something, anything, in their near future, they’ll share the fate of Cedar Creek United Methodist, a 274-year-old Richland County congregation that dissolved last year; Resurrection Lutheran, a church near downtown Columbia that will hold its last service on Sept. 2; and the dozens of churches that sit shuttered and empty around the state.
At the same time, some churches are growing, and some growing quickly. But they might not look much like the churches your grandparents (and their grandparents, and so on) were raised in. From meeting in unconventional places to tweaking their traditions, many churches are adapting, offering something different that many people thought the church couldn’t do for them.
August 10, 2018
Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari killed their child by criminal neglect
August 9. 2018
Pastor’s name and photo not available.
A pastor of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church has been detained in the Gondola district of Manica province for “marrying” an eight-year-old girl, with whom he had been living for a month, making her his third wife.
The defendant has been charged with a child sexual abuse.
While the accused confirms the fact of the marriage, he says that he was given the child by her parents.
“I bought backpacks, capulanas and many other things, and went to her house to talk to her parents,” he said.
The child’s father denies that he gave her up in marriage and says he only permitted his daughter to accompany him to the church.
“He came to ask if the child could go with him to the church. As for the rest, everything else that is being said here is a lie, I swear to God,” the father says.
While the two are in detention, medical examinations are being conducted to see if the child is in good health.
August 8, 2018
The 62-year-old Chinese shopkeeper had waited nearly his entire adult life to see his dream of building a church come true — a brick house with a sunny courtyard and spacious hall with room for 200 believers.
But in March, about a dozen police officers and local officials suddenly showed up at the church on his property and made the frightened congregants disperse. They ordered that the cross, a painting of the Last Supper and Bible verse calligraphy be taken down. And they demanded that all services stop until each person along with the church itself was registered with the government, said the shopkeeper, Guo, who gave his last name only from fear of retribution.
Without warning, Guo and his neighbors in China’s Christian heartland province of Henan had found themselves on the front lines of an ambitious new effort by the officially atheist ruling Communist Party to dictate — and in some cases displace — the practice of faith in the country.
Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.
July 25, 2018
Acton Bowen, serial child rapist
We covered the case of Acton Bowen — an author, public speaker, and evangelist with ties to failed Senate candidate Roy Moore — earlier this year. He was taken into custody after being charged with second-degree sodomy, enticing a child to enter a vehicle or house for immoral purposes, and second-degree abuse.
Now, he’s facing a new charge on the same grounds.
According to court records made public Thursday, the 37-year-old founder of Acton Bowen Outreach, was indicted June 22 on a felony charge of traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act.
… [Bowen] was initially arrested in April on those charges brought by Hoover police. The victim in that case was a young male, but police did not release his age except to say he is over 12 and under 16.
The new indictment involves the same Hoover victim, and an alleged incident that happened around the same time as the other reported crimes.
Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector said the department’s Special Victim’s Unit first launched the investigation three weeks prior to Bowen’s April 10 arrest. According to Alabama law, a person commits the crime of [second-degree] sodomy if he or she, being 16 years old or older, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person less than 16 and more than 12 years old.
This story seems to be getting more intense. While the victim is the same, Bowen is now accused of traveling in order to commit the crime.
On the new charge, the indictment states Bowen “did knowingly and willfully travel within this state, to this state, or from this state by any means, or attempted to do so, or knowingly causes another person to do so or attempt to do so, for the purpose of engaging in any unlawful sex act with a child, including sexual intercourse, sodomy, a sexual performance, obscene sexual performance, or other sexual conduct for the benefit of (Bowen).” His bond on the new charge is set at $60,000 but he is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on no bond.
In addition to charges and arrests in numerous regions, there’s also a warrant out against Bowen from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Authorities say they expect more charges against him in more counties, and that the FBI is involved.
There’s no telling how big this case will get, or how Bowen was able to keep his godly disguise on for so long, but I am glad he’s in custody and unable to hurt any kids. Hopefully those victims will get the justice they deserve.