John Lanza, pastor at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church. JOE HERMITT, The Patriot-NewsFour months ago I blogged about a wingnut church in Pennsylvania which had staged fake kidnappings of kids taking part in its youth ministry. The church claimed to be doing this in order to “teach” its kids about persecution of Christians. That one of the kids was injured during this little stunt, didn’t bother them at the time. Well, it may have taken them a while to do so, but the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reports that commonwealth officials have decided to file charges over it (WebCite cached article):

Dauphin County prosecutors today charged a church and its pastor after a mock “terrorism raid” in March.

The fake raid occurred at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Lower Swatara Township [cached] when four men — one carrying an unloaded but real gun — rushed into a room full of youth-group participants, put pillowcases over their heads and forced them into a van. The children didn’t know the raid was fake. One was injured.

The district attorney’s office filed charges of false imprisonment, a felony, and simple assault against the church and youth pastor Andrew D. Jordan, 28.

The church remains defiant and unapologetic over this, even after the charges were filed:

Lanza and Jordan are still listed as lead and youth pastors, respectively, on the church’s website [cached].

My guess is, Glad Tidings will continue intoning the mantra that all they were doing was “teaching persecution of Christians” and insist no harm was done — in spite of the fact that at least one child involved was injured. Raging paranoia has crept into America’s evangelical churches, and their persecution complex has long since set in. Pastor John Lanza, who runs this church, and the rest of his staff probably are not even aware of how delusional they’ve become. There’s a slight possibility that criminal proceedings might wake them up to that fact, but more likely, they’ll view them as further evidence that they’re being “persecuted” and they’ll become even more convinced of it than they already were. Sigh.

Photo credit: Joe Hermitt / The Patriot-News.

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One Response to “Charges Filed Over Fake Kidnappings Of Kids For Jesus”
  1. […] It took a few months, but charges have been filed in this case. Those responsible still refuse to admit any wrongdoing, but they’re delusional, so […]