SOCIAL media was left divided after man of the cloth, Brian Houston (67) decided to take a step back from all his positions at the Australian-based Hillsong Church.
The pastor and founder of Hillsong allegedly concealed the sex abuse of a young man in the 1970s, committed by his father decades earlier.
The New York Post has quoted him as saying: “I’ve made a decision to step aside from my role on the Hillsong Church boards that oversee the governance of our operations. I did this so that these boards can function to their fullest capacity during this season.”
It is reported that the senior pastor will face trial in October, following the allegations.
According to Associated Press, police officials announced last month that Houston was being charged with “concealing child sex offences”.
The Christian Post reported that Houston had expressed “shock” at the charges.
He was quoted as saying: “These charges have come as a shock to me, given how transparent I’ve always been about this matter. I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges. I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.”
Some social media users aired their views regarding the pastor, saying they were disappointed by the reports.
Mosebjadi Mo wrote: “For a long time, their music was a source of calm, even for me who is not a Christian. But these details… Well, they don’t shock me much.”
Mnaphi Terry wrote: “I honestly think it’s got nothing to do with music. The problem could be one or two people involved in the church.”
Red Luminah wrote: “I heard rumours here and there. Glad that this is going to trial, but I know the fanbase will hardly cancel them. Only God can judge.”
On 19 September, 60 Minutes Australia posted a documentary on YouTube titled Hillsong Hell, whereby various victims claimed they were raped by fellow church members.
They mentioned that whenever they tried to report the incidents to church elders, they were told not to talk.