Barring church leaders from key posts may not curb influence

Following the recent City Harvest Church (CHC) verdict ("Six accused in City Harvest trial guilty of all charges"; Oct 22), I support the Commissioner of Charities' (COC) decision to resume proceedings to ban Kong Hee from being a governing board member, key officer, trustee, agent or employee of CHC ("COC to resume action to bar leaders from key posts"; Oct 23).

However, as a churchgoer (albeit not at CHC), I think it is unrealistic to suggest that Kong can continue with his religious duties as a pastor, and not hold a management position in the church or be an employee of CHC.

The very nature of the job of a pastor is to manage the congregation of worshippers who have voluntarily come under his leadership, and from whom he receives his monetary support in return.

A pastor also wields no uncertain amount of influence in a church. Although it may be technically possible to prevent a pastor's name from appearing as an official governing board member or key officer, there is no avoiding the fact that the duly appointed officers might be swayed by their pastor's persuasions and person.

Chan Yeow Chuan