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Hillsong Church accused of charging charity

Leonardo Blair, of The Christian Post, writes that the Hillsong megachurch faces accusations of charging the child sponsorship and Christian aid group Compassion International $1 million every year. The revelation comes from a scathing whistleblower report. The recent scandal is one of many for the Australian megachurch in recent years.

Compassion International declined to comment on the matter, only noting that the relationship between the two organizations goes back 25 years. Hillsong stated that its network was “open and transparent” with parishioners.

Blair continues:

Hillsong Church has been charging child sponsorship and Christian humanitarian aid organization Compassion International $1 million annually to do God’s work in helping young children through a partnership a new whistleblower’s report has called “disgusting.”

The characterization of the partnership between the global megachurch and Compassion International, which is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, came from a 44-page summary of the whistleblower’s report which was recently announced by Andrew Wilkie, an independent member of the Australian Parliament.

The report which was reviewed by The Christian Post breaks down reams of financial records and Hillsong Church board documents detailing how the global megachurch earns and spends its cash.

“Perhaps the most disgusting aspect of all the above excessive spending and private benefit is that Hillsong promotes child sponsorship organization Compassion International at its conferences and worship tours via on-stage presentations and permitting Compassion to have a display ‘stand’ at the event,” the report says.

“All costs associated with fundraising are regularly reviewed and included in Compassion’s annual financial reports as part of our fundraising/marketing expenses. Rigorous evaluation of each opportunity means that Compassion can engage in these types of events and still ensure over 80% of donations are used to directly benefit children living in poverty,” he added.

And Compassion International’s marketing strategy has been quite effective.

The Christian humanitarian aid agency’s annual financial report for 2022, shows it had revenues of more than $1.1 billion and spent just over $200 million on fundraising, management and general administration.

When asked what he thinks would have happened if they didn’t have the money to pay for access to Hillsong’s church members, Glenn reserved his comment.

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