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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 02/22/2014
SOUTH KOREA
Scandals and corruption, Yoido mega-church pastor sentenced
The congregation is one of the richest and best-known of the South Korean capital. Its leader, David Yonggi Cho, found guilty of fraud to the tune of 9 million Euros. His son, former chairman of the Yeongsan Christian Cultural Center, sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Seoul ( AsiaNews) - After a lengthy investigation and trial, the Seoul District Court has sentenced the pastor of the Gospel Yoido church - one of the best known Protestant congregations of the South Korean capital - to 3 years in prison and a fine of almost 5 million dollars. The man, David Yonggi Cho, was found guilty of defrauding the church of 13.1 billion won (about 9 million Euros) and tax evasion amounting to 3.5 billion. His son (Cho Hee- hun, former chairman of the Yeongsan Christian Cultural Center) was also sentenced to 3 years in prison: he was immediately jailed, while his father obtained a suspension of 5 years.

The case against the pastor and his leadership began in 2013, when - at the request of his son - Pastor Cho 's church set aside funds to buy 250 thousand shares in the stock market. The shares were quoted at about 35 won each, but they were bought at 87 won leading to a disbursement paid by the faithful amounting to more than 13 billion won. Immediately after the verdict, supporters of the pastor sparked a small riot outside the court destroying reporters' cameras.

The story of the mega- church scandals still seems far from over. On November 30, 2013, a group of 30 "elders" of the congregation reported the pastor and a group of his loyalists for embezzlement and corruption to a value of approximately 500 million US dollars. Ha Sang -ok , who was part of the group for nearly two decades, admits to being involved in some fraud : " In the last 14 years I have seen and done bad things.  I tried to convince the pastor to stop, but he paid no attention. His behavior is not that of a Christian, but like that of a guru of a sect".

 


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See also
05/17/2006 SOUTH KOREA
12th child born to family in Korea, plagued by record low birth rate
by Pino Cazzaniga
08/09/2005 SOUTH KOREA - NORTH KOREA
Human rights violations in North Korea: death sentences, forced abortions, death by starvation
10/26/2009 SOUTH KOREA
Sentenced for fraud Hwang Woo-suk, pioneer of (false) "human cloning"
07/25/2007 AFGHANISTAN - SOUTH KOREA
Glimmers of hope for 23 young Christian hostages
by Pino Cazzaniga
11/11/2014 SOUTH KOREA
Korea, Sewol captain sentenced to 36 years in prison

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by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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