Megachurch Hillsong’s founder has been accused of concealing up his late father’s child sexual assault convictions. 

67-year-old Brian Houston was charged with concealing a serious unlawful act by police in New South Wales on Thursday. He is set to appear in court in October. After receiving complaints that Houston had withheld information connected to Frank Houston’s alleged sexual abuse of children, police launched their investigation in 2019.

The statement by the police reads “Police will allege in court the man knew information relating to the sexual abuse of a young male in the 1970s and failed to bring that information to the attention of police.”

However, the pastor denied the charges and said that he was innocent and that he has been very transparent about the matter, as well as is open to setting the record straight, as heard in his statement to Buzzfeed news. 

The Australian media has been collecting reports of Houston responding to the accusations against his father. Before his death in 2004, Frank Houston had been accused of abusing up to nine boys, as reported by the News Daily, one of the alleged victims stating that he was about 7 years old when the abuse began. 

As stated in a previous Hillsong statement, “Frank Houston’s abuse took place many years before Hillsong Church began. There can be no doubt that Pastor Brian is not a child abuser and has never been accused of it. He acted immediately to uncover and stop a child abuser.”

According to Houston’s statement released in 2014, the incident occurred 22 years ago, and he confronted his father and “ensured he never preached or functioned in any ministry capacity again”. Hillsong would later absorb Sydney Christian Life Center from Frank Houston.

The abuse was reported by Houston, to the National Executive Assemblies of God in Australia, the governing board of Sydney Christian Life Centre and then made public by Hillsong, according to a statement on its website a few weeks ago.

The megachurch also issued a statement that Frank Houston was never on the staff. 

Hillsong was founded in 1983 in Sydney, Australia, by Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie. In the United States, the church has 10 churches and touches 150,000 people each week.

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