Tuesday 2nd August 2005
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) is pleased to have won its legal case against the State of Belgium in respect of damaging and inaccurate allegations which were made in a 1997 parliamentary investigation.
As a result the following text is to be published in Le Soir and De Standard:
“The Court of Appeal in Brussels has, on the basis of its judgement of 28 June 2005 ruled that the text of the report of the parliamentary committee of enquiry on policies in the fight against illegal activities by sects and their danger for society and individuals in particular minors with reference to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God was drawn up in a careless manner and that it is to be regarded as an error.”
Church leaders said: “We are grateful to the court, our lawyers and everyone who worked with us to ensure that justice was done, and is seen to be done, for their support over the seven years it has taken for this matter to be resolved.
“We are a Pentecostal Christian church dedicated to doing good as instructed by the New Testament. It was therefore very wrong on the part of the Belgian parliament and doubly sad for us to have been accused of serious criminal and immoral activity on the strength of unsubstantiated hearsay.
Our only objectives are to spread the Christian faith and provide spiritual and practical help for people in need. As it was, the church’s good name was dragged through the mire.
“It was a courageous step to take on a national government in order to protect the church’s good reputation. This has never been done before to the best of our knowledge. However it was essential to put the record straight for the benefit of needy and troubled people who may wish to seek solace and practical support at our churches in Belgium, Holland and across Europe in future.”
Notes to editors:
• The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) is an international Pentecostal church, active in over 100 countries. It was formed in 1977, in Brazil, and owes its origins to a successful evangelistic programme by a Canadian missionary in the Pentecostal tradition.
• The Pentecostal movement started 100 years ago in California and has roots in the Methodist movement in 19th century England. It is currently the fastest growing section of the Christian faith.
• Pentecostal churches place great emphasis on the Holy Spirit (which, according to the New Testament, came upon Jesus’ disciples seven weeks after the crucifixion and resurrection that we commemorate at Easter). They believe that just as the Holy Spirit empowered the disciples at the first Pentecost, so it can empower and benefit people today.