A southeastern Pennsylvania church and a youth pastor are facing criminal charges for a mock kidnapping of a youth group that was meant to be a lesson in religious persecution.
The Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Middletown and 28-year-old Andrew David Jordan of Elizabethtown were charged Friday with false imprisonment and simple assault, said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.
The church staged the event in March. Mock kidnappers covered the teenagers’ heads, put them in a van and interrogated them. Neither the young people nor their parents were told beforehand that it wasn’t real. The mother of a 14-year-old girl filed a complaint with police.
“This is a sad case for all those involved,” Marsico said, adding that while the church’s and Jordan’s intentions were not necessarily harmful, “they in essence terrorized several children.”