A church youth group meeting comes to a horrifying halt when men bust in blind and bound the children and throw them into a van. But it was all staged by church leaders.
While at least one child was injured and traumatized, those leaders say they stand behind their "lesson."
Church leaders say this was a learning exercise designed to teach about religious freedom. But one girl was so shaken up that her parents have now gone to police.
A seventh grader is still traumatized, emotionally and physically, by a church youth group meeting Wednesday night at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Lower Swatara Township.
She had no idea what she was in for as she quickly went from enjoying herself to fearing for her life. Masked men stormed into their meeting and demanded the group of about a dozen kids get on the ground.
Then, while still bound and blinded, the kids were forced outside and into a van. It drove for a bit and then the kids ended up in the basement of a home on church property.
She says the pastor came out bloody, but Pastor John Lanes wasn't a victim, in fact he was a leader in what turned out to be a staged abduction to teach children about religious persecution.
Youth group leader Andrew Jordan says the exercise was never meant to horrify.
Pastor Lanza says moving forward they will notify parents first. but he won't stop doing it. He says the lesson is too important.
But for this seventh grader, that lesson left her bruised and with a different view of the church, saying she doesn’t trust them.
Police will only say they are aware of the incident and are investigating. We should point out the church says other children knew this was staged and say they did find the exercise beneficial.
Glad Tidings Assembly of God, WHPtv 72 Comments
[3/30/2012 3:25:00 AM]
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