SINGAPORE (AFP) — A Singapore-based church paid one of its leaders more than 500,000 dollars (329,000 US) in its last financial year, a report said Monday.
The New Creation Church, which raised 19 million Singapore dollars in just one day in February for the construction of its new premises, paid one employee between 500,001 and 550,000 dollars in the financial year ended March 31, 2008, the Straits Times said.
It said the church did not confirm if the money was paid to its leader, Senior Pastor Joseph Prince.
But New Creation's honorary secretary, Deacon Matthew Kang, was quoted by the newspaper as saying it was the church's policy to "recognise and reward key contributors... and Senior Pastor Prince is the main pillar of our church's growth and revenue."
Kang also described Prince as "the key man responsible for bringing in about 95 percent of our church's income," and added "he has enriched the church and not the other way around."
Two other employees of the church were paid between 150,001 and 200,000 dollars, but no names were given, the report said.
One of Singapore's fastest growing churches, New Creation had an income of 55.4 million dollars and net assets of 143.36 million dollars in its last financial year, according to its website.
Singapore is a predominantly ethnic Chinese society with deep Buddhist and Taoist traditions, but Christians here are known as devout and relatively affluent.
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