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Hillsong denies wrongdoing, accuses TV network of 'false statements and misrepresentations'

Hillsong has hit back after an Australian TV investigative programme accused the church and its leader Brian Houston of covering up the abuse carried out by his father Frank Houston.

Channel Nine's 60 Minutes show looked into the church's handling of the abuse allegations and featured an interview with a victim who accused Brian of not doing enough to expose his father's crimes.

 

Brett Sengstock waived his anonymity to talk about the abuse he suffered over a five year period as a child.

Speaking on the programme he said he wanted to know why Brian did not report his father to the police when he found out.

Brian Houston (pictured below) has previously stated that as soon as he became aware of the abuse, he took immediate action by reporting the information to seniors within the Assemblies of God network and ensuring that Frank was removed from ministry. He didn't inform the police at the request of the victim.

Brian Houston/YouTube

 

Frank Houston had also served within the Assemblies of God denomination but died in 2004.

In 2015, the Royal Commission investigated the abuse and the subsequent handling of the abuse.

Responding to the TV investigation, Hillsong accused producers of "false statements" and "misrepresentations" and said it "vehemently denies there was a lack of transparency or 'hiding' by its leadership.

In an online statement, church leaders then produce a list of the inaccuracies and call for a full redaction to be read out on air.

In further denial of wrongdoing, the statement reads: "Hillsong continues to stand by the statements it has made regarding this matter including that Hillsong has diligently implemented recommendations of the Royal Commission and continues to work toward best practice in its Safe Church implementation strategies."

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