Is City Harvest Church, a megachurch in Singapore that averages around 13,000 worshippers at its peak, creating a mirage that church members are cheerring Pastor Kong Hee along after he was pronounced guilty for misappropriating the church's funds? City News, a news website affiliated with the City Harvest Church, has released a video of City Harvest congregants' reactions to the verdict of the high-profile case. The video features congregants both young and old, universally supportive of the prosecuted church leaders with most Church members stressing on the importance of staying united despite the trial verdict.
On May 22, 2015, Kong Hee, who is the senior pastor and founder of City Harvest Church, together with 5 other church leaders, received multiple charges of falsifying accounts of the church. They were released on $500,000 bail each, and set to return to court on 25 July. The misappropriated money has had been used to support Kong's wife Sun Ho's fledging singing career. Each of the three counts of criminal breach of trust he faces has a maximum sentence of life imprisonment plus fine.
The video had Elim Chew,founder of streetwear brand 77th Street, offering support of the guilty church leaders. Chew said, "Most important, I believe now, is to come together as a family and to be supportive of everything that is happening and the family as well. We are in prayer, and we are praying for miracles as well. I am most excited today because after seeing the Church coming together and believing in the new management and the boards and the pastors."
Another congregant said. "Over the past three years, my cell group doubled in size, so it proves that trial or no trial, God is still with us ... We will go to the next level with CHC 2.0"
The video has attained more than 20,000 views, with more dislikes than likes. Though comments on the video are disabled, many commenters have taken to other sites like Reddit to criticize the video's contents.