Faith or Blind Faith: Ethical Breakdown at City Harvest Church


In 2012, one of Singapore’s richest megachurches, City Harvest Church, took the country by storm when six of its leaders were arrested and charged with criminal breach of trust and falsifying accounts. An inquiry conducted by the Commissioner of Charities and the Commercial Affairs Department revealed several questionable practices involving concealment and misrepresentation of the church’s transactions and activities. At the heart of the scandal was the mismanagement of over SGD 50 million of the church’s funds, funneled through sham bonds. About SGD 24 million was allegedly used to further the music career of Sun Ho, co-founder of City Harvest Church and wife of founder and senior pastor Kong Hee. After a long-drawn-out trial, the six accused were found guilty, and sentenced to imprisonment. Despite the guilty verdict, City Harvest Church’s members stood by the pastor and his team, arguing that everything they did was in good faith. The case highlighted the tension between faith and good governance.

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