City Harvest Church questioned over its $310 million stake in Suntec

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City Harvest Church (CHC) has been questioned by the Commissioner of Charities over its $310 million purchase of a stake in Suntec Singapore which it announced two weeks ago, the Straits Times reported today.

The Church said earlier that it would use two floors in Suntec to house a 12,000-seat auditorium for worship services and that it would be used exclusively for its services, except for about five times a year to allow for international conferences or events to be held there.

The stake raised some eyebrows among Singaporeans who questioned if registered charities should be allowed to go into business and if the income collected by CHC through its Suntec rentals would be taxed.

An irate Singaporean Lester Lam wrote to the Straits Times Forum on 11 March 2010 questioning the relevance of giving religious organisations tax-exempt status when many of them own commercial properties and derive rental income from them.

– Source / Full Story: City Harvest Church questioned over its $310 million stake in Suntec, The Temasek Review, Mar. 20, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Jun. 1, 2010