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London music hall bought by megachurch engulfed in child sex abuse scandal after locals oppose plan to use it as Islamic centre

Added 10-21-21 01:37:02pm EST - “The historic Golders Green Hippodrome has been bought by the controversial Hillsong megachurch ?" whose founder has been charged with concealing child sex abuse ?" after locals protested plans to use it as a Shia Islamic centre.” - Rt.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Rt.com: “London music hall bought by megachurch engulfed in child sex abuse scandal after locals oppose plan to use it as Islamic centre”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Jewish News reported on Wednesday that Hillsong purchased the Hippodrome for an unreported sum from the Centre for Islamic Enlightening (Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami) after it was prevented for several years from turning the former music hall into a venue for the Shia Muslim community.

The purchase is expected to be finalized in the “new year,” though contracts have already reportedly been exchanged between the two parties.

The Centre for Islamic Enlightening had purchased the Hippodrome in 2017, but its plans for the building were repeatedly opposed. The centre claimed religious discrimination was behind local opposition, and a 2017 letter signed by members of the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Sikh communities condemned “the hostile and at times racist response to the new Islamic centre’s opening.”

A spokesperson for Hillsong told Jewish News that it aims “to be a positive influence in the area” and that it recognizes the “significance of the building to the community.” They also said that the church was looking forward to “adding to the work of local churches and charities” through its “social action programmes.”

However, Hillsong – which was founded in Australia in the 1980s by evangelical leader Brian Houston – has been plagued with accusations of sexual abuse in recent years.

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