Christianity in General

Former Washington pastor accused of stealing $40,000 meant for victims of landslide

October  18, 2018

 

 

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Gary Ray, steals from those who need it most
Island County prosecutors allege a former Oso pastor stole thousands of dollars meant for victims of the 2014 landslide.
Gary Ray, 57, worked at the Oso Community Chapel when the landslide struck. The landslide killed 43 people and left behind a path of devastation. In total, prosecutors say Ray pocketed $40,000 donated to victims.
Ray was charged with three counts of first-degree theft on Oct. 5.
Island County Sheriff’s Office detectives first learned of the theft in March 2017. Deputies were contacted for concerns of embezzling at Restoration Church Camano. A detective began an investigation following tips and payments that lead to the alleged $40,000 theft, according to charging documents.
The money meant for landslide victims came from two separate donations. Both were transferred or deposited into personal accounts monitored by Ray.
According to the investigating detective, Ray confessed last year to taking the funds with no intention of delivering to their intended target.
The charging documents allege Ray was fired from the Oso church a couple months after the slide. Before his termination, he started Restoration Church Camano and worked there for several years.
Ray is expected to make his next court appearance on Oct. 22.

Elder and pastor accused of sex crimes are from same B.C. church

October 8, 2018

 

Bus driver facing child sex charges

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.

Two Ohio Pastors arrested by the FBI for sex trafficking

October 8, 2018

 

 

Image result for pastor Cordell Jenkins
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.

Pennsylvania Church Pastor, Fire Marshal Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teenage Boy

August 17, 2018

 

david croyle mark feeney Church Pastor, Fire Marshal Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teenage Boy

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.

Biblical Scholars Find Evidence Church Covered Up For 3 Wise Men Who Molested Baby Jesus

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

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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.

The Crumbling Church In Europe

August  10, 2018

 

Visual tributes to the demise of religion in Europe –

 

Decaying: This abandoned Church in Italy contains a pile of bricks and rubble on the floor. Photographer Roman Robroek aimed to capture the beauty in abandoned religious buildings and believes each place tells their own story

 

Eerie: Another abandoned church in Italy contained piles of wood and plants growing from the floor. The photographer said: 'Chapels and churches are among my favourite abandoned places to visit because of their secrecy'

 

Overgrown: This Italian church has been unloved for so long that there is a range of plants, weeds and trees covering the floor and walls.

 

Crumbling: This Belgian church is in desperate need of a lick of paint. A March 2018 report titled Europe's Young Adults and Religion by Professor Stephen Bullivant at St Mary's University in London found that a majority of young people in a dozen countries do not follow a religion

 

Devastation: This Italian church has bricks and cracked wood strewn around the building. The survey of 16- to 29-year-olds found the Czech Republic is the least religious country in Europe, with 91 per cent of that age group saying they have no religious affiliation

 

Empty: It appears this Italian church has not been visited for many years and the pews rot into the ground. Between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of young adults in Estonia, Sweden and the Netherlands also categorise themselves as non-religious

 

 

 

 

South Carolina is abandoning its churches

August 10. 2018

 

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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.

 

Good.

Parents Charged With First Degree Child Abuse And Murder In Religious Death Of Baby Daughter

August 10, 2018

 

Seth Welch and his wife, Tatiana Fusari, remain in jail without bond.

Seth Welch and  Tatiana Fusari killed their child by criminal neglect

 

A Michigan couple who told cops they declined to get medical help for their sick baby partly over “religious reasons” are now facing charges of felony murder and first-degree child abuse for the child’s death.
Seth Welch’s jaw dropped open during his arraignment in Kent County on Monday, as a judge informed him that the charges carried a potential life sentence. Beside him, his wife, Tatiana Fusari, wept openly.
The Christian couple’s 10-month-old daughter, Mary Welch, was found dead in her crib in the couple’s Solon Township home on Aug. 2. The police officer who responded to Welch’s emergency call noted in his report that Mary’s cheeks and eyes were “sunken into her head,” according to local ABC affiliate WZZM.
An autopsy later determined that the child died from malnutrition and dehydration “due to neglect by adult care givers,” a press release from the Kent County Sherriff’s Office states. The sheriff’s office ruled the death a homicide, and the parents were arrested on Aug. 3. The couple, both 27 years old, remain in jail without bond.
The judge ordered them not to have any contact with their other children ― a 2-year-old and 4-year-old who are staying with Welch’s parents.
During an interview with Kent County detectives, Fusari said the parents had noticed a change in their daughter’s physical appearance at least one month before her death, according to a police affidavit obtained by NBC affiliate WOOD-TV. Although the child appeared underweight, Fusari told the detectives she did not reach out for medical help for “fear of having her children removed by Child Protective Services, lack of faith and trust in the medical services and religious reasons,” the affidavit states.
The father, Seth Welch, appears to have railed against vaccines, doctors and the health care industry on his Facebook page. In a live video recorded three months ago on a page bearing his name, a man who looks like him says he hasn’t vaccinated his children. He says his children aren’t “allergic to anything” and “basically don’t get sick.”
“The righteous shall live by faith,” the man says in the video, quoting a Bible verse. “It’s God who is sovereign over disease and those sorts of things and ultimately death. So it doesn’t worry me.”
He says later in the video that he doesn’t think people can be good doctors if they don’t believe in creationism. 
So, how’s that working out for your kids, you moron?
“I’m not opposed to medicine or doctors, I’m opposed to bad medicine and doctors that are just aren’t really doctors, they’re just priesthoods of the medical cult,” he says.
Police have not yet confirmed that the Facebook account belongs to Welch, though the page does include a post from Aug. 2 noting the death of his daughter Mary.
It’s unclear whether the pair have secured lawyers. The couple’s next court date is Aug. 20.

 

Mozambique pastor arrested for sexual abuse of 8-year-old

August 9. 2018

 

Pastor’s name and photo not available.

 

MENORGONDOLA

 

 

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.

China Begins Its Crackdown On Christian Churches

August 8, 2018

 

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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.

 

 

Youth Pastor Faces New Child Sex Charge After Arrest for Abusing Boy Under 16

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.

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