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Hillsong founder found not guilty of concealing his father’s sex crimes

Hillsong church founder Brian Houston arrives at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney, Thursday Associated Press/Photo by Bianca De Marchi, AAP Image

Hillsong founder found not guilty of concealing his father’s sex crimes

A magistrate in Sydney, Australia, ruled on Thursday that Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston had a reasonable excuse for not reporting his father’s sexual abuse of children to authorities. The court ruled that Brian Houston believed that one of his father’s victims did not want the abuse from the 1970s reported to the police. However, the victim in question testified that he never told Brian Houston not to report it to the police.

Did Houston’s father actually abuse children? Brian Houston discovered his father’s abuses in 1999. His father, Frank Houston, confessed and subsequently lost his credentials as an Assemblies of God pastor. He died in 2004, at age 82, without ever facing criminal charges. Frank Houston was never employed by Hillsong Church, according to a 2021 statement by the church.

Dig deeper: Read Barton J. Gingerich’s column in WORLD Opinions about Hillsong Church and spiritual consumerism.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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