August 4, 2012
A scandal rocks Singapore’s biggest church
Reaching out to the unconverted
THE city-state of Singapore likes to think of itself as squeaky clean, so the prosecution of a priest, no less, for corruption has caused a furore. On July 25th Kong Hee, pastor at City Harvest Church (CHC), and five others appeared in court on charges of misusing up to S$50m ($40m) of church money to fund the music career of Mr Kong’s flamboyant wife, Sun Ho. The case has divided Singapore’s fast-growing Christian community, which makes up about a fifth of the 5m population. It also worries those who see corruption as a growing problem.
The CHC is Singapore’s largest mega-church, with more than 30,000 members. Ms Ho helped to found the church and started singing as a way to broaden the church’s appeal: skimpy outfits and provocative gyrations helped. A decade ago she became a full-time pop singer. She has released several albums. Her home is a mansion in Hollywood Hills, California.
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