The Swedish newspaper Dagen ( Day) is reporting the results of a police investigation is now in the hands of a Finnish prosecutor. The prosecutor is expected to announce whether or not to lay charges against the Canadian televangelist in February.
This story has been covered in Canada the past year, by this blog and by ChristianWeek.
Peter Youngren is known in Canada for his purchase of The Christian Channel (renamed Grace TV).
Some background: A missionary organization in Finland called EKM (Evankeliumi Kaikkiin Maihin) accused Youngren of taking their mailing list, which had about 6 thousand names which brought in about 150 thousand dollars (Cdn) in yearly donations. The rift between Youngren and EKM began when news of Youngrens latest divorce reached Finland. According to EKM board member David Sterling, Youngren had worked with EKM since 1993 and eventually became a board member of the EKM publishing arm.
When the EKM board expelled Youngren after he allegedly refused to step aside for a year, he is alleged to have taken the organization newsletter data base. The Day adds a few more facts.
When confronted, EKM’s Tom Lipkin says Youngren struck out, and Lipkin says that Youngren:
…wrote what may be termed gross libel against me and the EKM. I have worked (counted) over sixty lies and other misleading information.
The future of EKM is uncertain, Youngrens name was a draw to it’s donors and Lipkin says the ability to support schools and orphanages has diminished. EKM confronted Youngren in December 2009 about the donor list. ChristianWeek:
Relationships between Youngren and the board continued to deteriorate. In January 2010 Youngren, with Kuusiluoma’s help, allegedly sent a letter to about 6,000 people on EKM’s mailing list. In the letter—a copy of which has been obtained by ChristianWeek—Youngren accuses Sterling and board chair Tom Lipkin of misusing EKM funds, holding secret board meetings and attempting to hijack the organization.
Sterling says EKM’s reputation in Finland has been seriously harmed by the letter. He also says the list of addresses was confidential in accordance with EU privacy laws, and that Youngren had no right to use it.
As a result of the investigation Channel 7, a religious channel in Finland dropped Peter Youngrens show.
Youngren, who says the EKM claims are ‘frivolous and laughable at best’ and a ‘power struggle’ sent The Day copies of his police interviews and continues to insist the data base is his.
After the April 2010 ChristianWeek article, Youngren responded to the Canadian magazine in a letter dated April 29, 2010:
Are Finnish police investigating me? Not as far as I know; I’ve heard nothing. I wrote to ChristianWeek before they published this article: Upon hearing statements about a police report and lawsuit in a phone meeting with EKM’s board in early February, I immediately contacted the Public Prosecutor in Osterbotten, Finland and the police in Vaasa, Finland. I have not received any reply, and consequently I cannot confirm or deny.
Should not ChristianWeek’s article at least have carried a question mark? How does ChristianWeek know that Finnish police are investigating me? No source, other than a disgruntled pastor of a store-front church, is given.
I did not join a fledgling Finnish organization called EKM in 1993, at the invitation of David Sterling, any more than I joined World Impact Ministries [WIM] when it was small organization. I started both organizations, and I have been the driving force equally in Canadian WIM and Finnish EKM…For seventeen years EKM did not do a single project other than those I initiated.
The relationship between myself and EKM’s board did not become strained when I shared with EKM’s board regarding my marital difficulties in the summer of 2009. In fact, I heard nothing from EKM about this. EKM’s board has never given me a proposal or discussed my marriage with me, though I have invited them to do so.
Readers must be bored. What has all this got to do with a Canadian Christian newspaper? Is ChristianWeek publishing relevant news or engaging in journalistic sensationalism?
Prior posts: Peter Youngren under investigation by Finnish Police, EKM continuing legal proceedings against Peter Youngren The prior posts contain documentation – BD
via: Toms Nillson
Peter Youngren/Grace TV posts don’t generate much interest, so it’s interesting that earlier today I got an angry email. I get angry emails from time to time, but one centering around Youngren is a first. BDBO has a lot of posts on errant televangelists and public evangelicals. Is Brian A’s discontent a mere coincidence given The Day put out it’s story today?
A second one from Brian showed up about an hour ago. He’s wound up.
I just read your discourse on Peter Youngren. As much as you dont know him nor do I. However, I do know the Bible. Have you looked in the mirror lately?
Are you without sin that you can judge this man?
All I see of all the critics today is they are exactly as the pharasees and scribes. Pointing fingers at those who have afllen here and there. In total denial to their own sinless condition.
This man has gone out into the world with the greatest truth ever and millions of people have been taken from death to Life in Jesus Christ.
yes he is a sinner? Arent you?
Repent for as you judge I am sure we can soon find a sin in you to declare also.