The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
A court in Barcelona has enforced a prison sentence of 12 to 20 months along with returning the money scammed upon a pastor and his wife, and the commercial director of a Christian tv station.
R.D.T., known as “Apostle Falín Díaz”, and his wife E.F.M., leaders of the church Iglesia La Paz Ministerio Kairos, along with the commercial director of the television channel Kairos TV, Julio Antelo Faria, have been convicted by the Provincial Court of Barcelona of conning 40,000 euro from one of the members of their local church.
According to the sentence, as reported by online Spanish newspaper OK Diario, the convicted trio “engineered a plan to secure for themselves part of the wealth of the person being cheated, gaining their confidence when they were diagnosed with skin cancer in April 2013.”
As well as cancer, the person cheated also showed signs of mystical paranoid schizophrenia and the three had promised “to cast out demons” in exchange for a sum of 40,000 euros. According to the media outlet, this money was transferred to EMCP Consulting Networks SL which is owned by Díaz.
The sentence imposed is the returning of the 40,000 euros and between 12 and 20 months in prison.
ERROR IN THE NEWS STORY
In the original news story of OK Diario a video appeared in the page header showing certain images that do not correspond to the congregation of those sentenced but rather were taken from the church Kayros Church Barcelona. Their pastor, Jhon Arguello, contacted Protestante Digital to make them aware of the mistake and to declare that they are in no way connected with the activities of Iglesia La Paz Ministerio Karios. “We have requested that OK Diario rectify the news story and publish another one apologising for the mistake caused”, says Arguello.
CHURCH IS NOT MEMBER OF EVANGELICAL FEDERATION
The Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain (FEREDE) is the legal representative of the evangelical churches. It released a statement stipulating that the church Iglesia La Paz Ministerio Kairos is not one of its member churches. Furthermore the federation stated that “the facts described in this case are contrary from every possible point of view to Christian ethic and the practice of the churches linked to the Federation”.
In the same statement FEREDE also “urges ministers of religion, churches and the entities that they are part of to reflect on such cases that cause so much harm to people and the testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ”.