Megachurches are nothing new. Nor is profligate spending by those in charge.
And the preaching of the "prosperity gospel," which blends the spiritual with the material, is not unique to U.S. churches.
In Singapore, a church spent $37 million to boost the pop singing career of the pastor's wife. I'm not sure how the music industry works in Singapore, but $37 million sounds like a lot for promotion.
Pastor Kong Hee, who heads City Harvest Church, and five other church leaders were convicted Wednesday of diverting millions to advance the career of Ho Yeow Sun, a co-founder of the church not criminally charged in the case.
Ho is one of the top musical performers in the Asian island city-state.
What can $37 million buy you? Here's a music video of Ho with Grammy-winning artist Wyclef Jean that got some church member's attention with sexy dance moves.
According to the Guardian, Ho's lavish lifestyle includes a $20,000-a-month Los Angeles mansion.
After her husband was found guilty, Ho asked church members for their continuing support.
"Thank you for your unwavering faithfulness in loving God and loving one another. More than ever before, let's have a unity that is unbreakable," Ho said on the church website.
Church leaders had said Ho's music was a way to reach out to non-believers, but the court found Kong and other church leaders sold sham investments and deceived church members.
Kong will be sentenced at a later date, but faces life in prison under strict Singaporean law, says the BBC , adding that the $37 million project to assist Ho failed to make her a worldwide name.
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