Gordon Manche

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Gordon-John Manché
Born (1972-01-04) January 4, 1972 (age 48)[1]
Pietà, Malta
Nationality Maltese and American
Education Rhema Bible Training Center, 2001
Doctor in Pastoral Ministry, Life Christian University, 2013[1]
Occupation Evangelical Minister (Rev.)[1]
Religion Evangelical
Spouse(s) Mariella Blackman
Children none
Website

Template:Url

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Gordon-John Manché (also written as Manche or Manchè or Manche') is a Maltese charismatic[2] televangelist preacher,[3] a former Roman Catholic, who became prominent in Malta after converting to Evangelical Christianity.[4] He is the founding Minister of 'Nations for Christ' noted for his stand in support of Biblical teaching according to the evangelical fundamentalist interpretation of the bible.[5][6] Manché is known for his support of creationism and his opposition to LGBT rights in Malta. He agrees with conversion therapy as it is in line with Christian principles.[1][7][8][9]

Early life and education

Malta

Typical street in Tarxien.

Gordon-John Manché was born in Pietà, Malta in 1972. He lived with his biological Catholic parents Donald and Jane Manché, and his two siblings Alexander and Miriam, in Tarxien, Malta.[10] By age eleven Manché received some national publicity after having taken the first place in a national song contest in Malta. Manché used to be invited to sing on television in Malta and started acting practice at school and at other professional plays. Between the ages of twelve and sixteen, Manché was actively involved in modeling for fashion clothes, dancing (disco dancing) on TV with a group, and singing. Manché attended modeling, drama and visual arts at a school.[10][11]

England and US

Manché moved to London, England, and lived there for less than four years. In England he received his professional ballet dance training and graduated in theatre arts. On April 10, 2011, Manché earned his Masters in Theology. (B.A, M.The) from Life Christian University in US. In January 2013, Manché received his Doctor in Pastoral Ministry Degree (D.Min) from the Life Christian University. Currently, Manché is also studying to achieve a Ph.D. in Bible Theology.[1][11]

Career

Ballet dancer

Tulsa is sometimes considered the "buckle of the Bible Belt";[12] it is the home of Oral Roberts University and the university's Prayer Tower.


After graduating from England, Manché moved to the United States of America and performed as a professional ballet dancer.[13] He continued his studies in dancing at the San Francisco Ballet School in California. He earned his first opportunity to perform with the Texas ballet company Houston Ballet[1] and Oklahoma Ballet in Oklahoma City, but his life took a new turn when he went to Tulsa. Manché graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in 2001 and is now a full-time missionary.[14] Manché said his faith led him to US citizenship by saying, "I have felt led by the Lord to become a US citizen, and I'm very patriotic to America because of its Christian values."[15] While Manché toured the USA, as a ballet dancer,[16][17] was exposed[18] to fundamentalist American Christianity.[1][19] After his return to Malta he has terminated entirely being a ballet dancer but he is still know for being a "former ballet dancer."[16]

Pastor

Flag of Zebbug

While in the USA he became integral to join cross-denominational churches, and served him well to learn to evangelize the gospels to parishioners as a pastor, both in USA and when he established himself in Malta.[20] Manché established his ministry 'Nations for Christ' when he was in Tulsa, USA.[21] He started to perform marriage ceremonies the established ministry in 2006.[22] Upon his return to Malta he expanded his ministry Nations for Christ, with an official declaration.[23] The first Ministry in Malta was founded in 2006 by Manché and his newly wedded wife Mariella Blackman right after getting married, called the 'River of Love Christian Fellowship', which is at the Sapphire Hall in Haz-Zebbug.[24][25]

Televangelist

Gordon-John Manché has his own television programme on Smash TV called 'Habbejtek'[26][27] (I loved you). He is noticed for being a charismatic[2] televangelist preacher. His wife, Mariella Blackman, also used to appear on television when she was the vice-president of the Union of Professional Psychologists in Malta.[28] Manché met his wife for the first time on television, where discussed issues related to religion.[14]

Religious life

Roman Catholic

Traditional Roman Catholic church building in Malta.

Manché was traditionally born in a Roman Catholic Maltese family where attending Sunday mass was a must. However according to Manche the "Word of God was sadly to say suffocated with traditions of men." He went to church daily during his attendance to a primary school. At secondary school Manche went to church less regularly during the week. However he never missed Sunday mass. He never read the Bible because he was discouraged to read it. Manche attended Catechism classes for some years in order to learn about God. He had a certain fear and love for God while growing up and also a sense of awe. From a young age Manche enjoyed talking to others about God and was amazed why some people did not believe in a god.[11][10]

When Manche was about eleven years old he continued attending Catholic church regularly while started to go to nightclubs and bars. At this time he had a lot of mixed feeling such as asking himself whether he should become a Catholic priest and dedicate his life to the Catholic church, as a celibate which would have lead him to give up dancing, singing, acting and theatrical life. Manche had consulted with Catholic priests who had objective opinions. A question which Manche had was, "If God called me to priesthood, why did he make me (made me become) an artist and gave me desires to have a wife and my own family one day?" At the age of seventeen and a half Manche still remember to attending Catholic mass every Sunday while living in England.[11][10]

New Age

Houston Ballet Center for Dance, the administrative headquarters

When Manche travelled to the San Francisco, in the US, his Catholic faith started to shake. He was getting involved in New Age teachings such as tarot card, astrology, crystal, holistic healing, spiritualism, and other activities. Meanwhile he was still attending Catholic mass. In 1994, Manche went to Houston Ballet both as a student and worker. Manche was becoming depressed because he was granted only one more year stay in the US, on a student visa. He started looking for help in order to get legal papers to work in the US. He was offered two times for a marriage of convenience which he refused. After that he gained some attention of high profile people in the fields of arts but because of his visa status he could not work. Meanwhile Manche also prayed to Catholic Saints according to Catholic tradition, to ask for their intercession.[11][13][14][16][17]

Born-again Christian

Manché converted to Evangelical Christianity while in the United States.[11][14][16][17]

Manche made a last attempt to remain in the US by travelling to Phoenix, Arizona to audition for the state ballet. He was told that if they like him, they would make the papers for him to work legally in the US. The director had expressed interest to hire him, but nothing was guaranteed. On a trip back to Houston, an older lady sat beside Manche and talked with him, with enthusiasm and confidence, about God, Jesus, and the Bible according to evangelicals view. She invited him to a non-denominational Christian Church where there were people from around the world, from differet denominations, including Catholic. Manche was interested to visit because he never understood why people call themselves Baptists, Charismatics, Pentecostals, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians or even Catholics. At first he was not committing himself to go to this church, because he still admired the Catholic Church. After this experience Manche was taken to Sunday mass by people who recognized him from his first visit. He converted spiritually to evangelicalism after feeling a sense of belonging and an understanding of the bible.[11][14][16][17]

The Ministry

Tulsa Skyline, Oklahoma

Manché founded the Nations for Christ ministries, after saying to have received a vision from Jesus Christ.[29] He opened his first ministry in Tulsa Oklahoma in the USA.[30] He started performing daily religious service at the River of Love Christian fellowship in Zebbug, Malta[3] and is a presenter on a televangelist show, on Smash TV.[31] The Ministry receives serices by the Bridge The Gap International (BGI).[32] The ministry welcomes everyone who wish to make contact, or further more become a parishioner. Furthermore, it makes an outreach through televangelism, by Manché himself and others, on Smash TV.[33]

Alliances

See: Religion in Malta

Manché's ministry, the Nations for Christ, is in communion with The Evangelical Alliance of Malta (TEAMalta).[34][35][36] The Evangelical alliance has said it regrets offence to the gay community, by Pastor Manché's actions for claims of homosexual conversions, but hold that he is entitled to freedom of speech.[37] The Ministry is affiliated with other evangelical or non-Evangelical Ministries in Malta.[38][39] The Ministry has in international alliances or affiliations, such as with the Freedom to Captives[40] and others.[41][42][43]

Distinctiveness

Different from the Roman Catholic Church in Malta Manché baptizes people, who are only adults, in sea water (there are no flowing rivers in Malta). One of the baptism took place in Marsascala (Wied il-Ghajn) at St Thomas Bay. People who were baptised wore white clothing and lined after each other waiting for their baptism by Manché.[44]

Languages

See: Languages of Malta

Template:Main

Dark blue shows official, previously official, or second language position of Italian. Light blue shows less common usage.

The languages used at the Ministry, River of Love, by Manché are:[45]

  • Maltese - on Wednesdays with English and Italian translation;
  • Maltese - on Saturdays with English and Italian translation;
  • English - on Sundays with Italian and English used for gospel music.

Nations for Christ bible college

Manché's ministry operates a Bible-based college called Nations for Christ bible college (NFCbc), at the Sapphire Hall in Zebbug, at the same location of his congregation.[46][47] The college's related teaching is based on the teaching of the Bible. The main campus is based in Malta. Since the beginning of 2014, the NFCbc is also based in Modena and Napoli Italy. NFCbc is an evangelical, pentecostal and charismatic college at the same time. The college is based on the teaching of the word of God of the Bible, being the highest authority for the faithful and in Christian theology.[47][48][49][50]

Media

Manché became a public figure in Malta, and elsewhere, both for being an individual and for prompting some controversy. He is noticed for his activism, being a former ballet dancer, television personality, after having adopted another religion, indirectly participating in the political sphere, having a nonfor profit organization, offering conversion therapy, beside many other.[51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][38][59][19][60]

Television

See: Television in Malta

File:TVM Malta.png
Logo of TVM (Television Malta), the PBS (Public Broadcasting Services).

The following is a list of appearances by Manché on television (inc. his own TV programme):

  • 'Xarabank', Television Malta (TVM), presented by Peppi Azzopardi;[55][56]
  • 'Times Talk', Television Malta (TVM), presented by Herman Grech and Mark Micallef;[61][62][63]
  • 'Sibtek', Television Malta (TVM), presented by Ryan Borg; (16 February 2013)
  • Television Malta (TVM) News;[64][65][66]
  • 'Ghid il-Verita', One Television (One TV), presented by John Bondi;[67]
  • 'Kulhadd Jghid Tieghu', Smash Television (Smash TV);[68][69]
  • '60 Minuta', Smash Television (Smash TV), presented by Jesmar Baldacchino;[70]
  • 'Habbejtek', Smash Television (Smash TV), presented by Manché and Sophocles Christodoulou.[38][57][58]
File:One white detail.jpg
Logo of One TV (One Television), television station of the Labour Party.

Reportage

The following is a list of news reportage about Gordon-John Manché:

Journals

See: List of newspapers in Malta

The following is a list of online journals were Manché is mentioned:

Radio

See: List of radio stations in Malta

The following is a list of radio interviews with Manché:

  • 'Ghandi Xi Nghid', Radju Malta (Malta Radio), presented by Andrew Azzopardi, radio show;[60][59][19]

Creationism

See: Genesis creation narrative
Gordon-John Manché believes in the Biblical teaching of creationism in the Book of Genesis. Manché cites biblical texts to point out that “God awakes his people after two days”, which signifies 2,000 years from the birth of Jesus Christ, before his wrath is visited upon the third day. Before the birth of Christ there is a 4,000-year gap from the fall of Adam. These 6,000 years in total are represent 120 ‘jubilees’, a 50-year cycles, proclaimed in the Bible as the natural lifespan (120 years) for a human being.[93] Other Evangelicals in Malta, in communion with Manché's ministry, tend to be against evolution theory as according to them it is not supported by biblical scripture.[94]

Teaching

See: Education in Malta

Manché shares different views,[18][95] from the established natural sciences in Malta, such as non-belief in dinosaurs natural histroy and his support to creationism.[96] Evolution is an established teaching in the education system curriculum common to both the government of Malta and the Roman Catholic Church.[97][98][99][100][101] A school which used to teach creationism, in its science curriculum, closed its doors in 2012 after some controversy and lack of students' interest to attendand the school. The European Union urges European member states "to firmly oppose the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution and in general resist presentation of creationist ideas in any discipline other than religion.”[102][103][104][105] Evangelist Pastor Vince Fenech, the director of the former fully licensed State-approved creationism school which admited children aged between four and 18 said that, "Far from becoming extinct 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs actually co-existed with early humans, and even helped in the construction of the pyramids."[106]

Malta Humanist Association

See: Ramon Casha

When Manche was in the USA he was exposed to the teaching of Evangelical Christianity which views creationism as a natural science. This experience comes in contrast with the views of the Chairperson of the Malta Humanist Association, Ramon Casha, a well know supporter of evolutionary biology and an activist against the teaching of creationism.[107][108]

Notary beliefs

See: Apocalypticism

As a Christian, Manché believes in the end of times written about in the bible. He is predicting that the apocalypse will take place in 2017.[14][96][109]

Conversion therapy controversy

See: LGBT rights in Malta

Psychologist Freud (1856–1939) was skeptical of the possibility of therapeutic conversion.

Controversy was highlighted by the media reportage, both national and international, when Manché had organized an event where three people gave testimonials of their sexual lifestyle conversion.[110] Some of the reportage was later denied by Manché and the 'River of Love' ministry.[111] Manché told Malta Today, “It’s not therapy. It was going to be testimonials from three men who were homosexuals before giving their life to Christ. It’s got nothing to do with hating homosexuals.”[28]

Mariella Blackman

Manché is married to psychologist Dr. Mariella Blackman. His wife denied reports that she offers Christian reparative treatment for homosexuals, after her husband Manché cancelled a testimonial[112] of three gay men who said they had been converted and turned straight. Blackman however demanded that Malta Today does not report her denial, if the newspaper mentioned that she was married to Manché. After first providing comments explaining her position, Blackman requested that the article omit mentioning the fact that she is marriage to the pastor, whose gay faith conversion event drew the ire of hundreds and prompted protest plans.[113][114][115][116]

When she was told that Malta Today would not withhold such information from its reportage, Blackman withdrew her comments. Her marriage to Manché was already been reported in the media. Blackman is a well known psychologist amongst television audiences, having also served as vice-president of the Malta Union of Professional Psychologists. She is no longer on the union’s executive. In 2007, she had her warrant temporarily withdrawn over issues which arose over the equivalence of her City University London master's degree with those issued by the University of Malta.[113][117][118][119]

Event and protest

The issue of faith conversion and homosexual reparative therapy hit the headlines when on a conversion event organised by Smash TV’s evangelical Pastor Gordon-John Manché was announced on Facebook. The Facebook event "Gay no more, healed by the power of Christ",[86] was cancelled by Manché himself after protestors planned to picket the event. This latter protest was later cancelled due to lack of police permits. Manché said his activity had been “hijacked by people incited by others” and said his critics were being intolerant. “It’s not therapy. It was going to be testimonials from three men who were homosexuals before giving their life to Christ. It’s got nothing to do with hating homosexuals,” Manché said.[18][113]

Manché denied reports that he and his wife Mariella Blackman does reparative treatment for gay people. “This is untrue. We work different jobs and we’re professional about it. I’m a pastor, she’s a psychologist.” The claims surfaced following the outrage provoked by the faith conversion event, which many decried as homophobia or racial hatred.[113]

Malta Gay Rights Movement

Malta (light blue) has introduced a civil union law which includes the recognition of foreign same-sex marriages performed abroad.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) expressed concern at “the emergence of ongoing efforts by Gordon-John Manche, pastor of an evangelical church in Malta to mischaracterize homosexuality and promote the notion that sexual orientation can be changed and about the possible resurgence of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).”[113] The Malta Gay Rights Movement had organized a protest event following the incident, after permits for the protest were issued.[92][120][121]

The MGRM referred to statements by the American Psychological Association (2009), which said that, according to studies, such efforts only lead to individuals merely learning to ignore or not act on their same-sex attractions. “Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex.”[122]

National Youth Council

See: University Students' Council (Malta)

In a statement, the National Youth Council (KNZ), in Maltese 'Kunsill Nazzjonali Zghazagh', condemned the event for indicating that members of the gay community "can somehow be 'healed' from their sexual orientation."[113][123][124]

Legislation

See: Parliament of Malta

The government was currently drafting legislation to criminalise conversion therapies. The Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli said that a first draft of the Bill was expected to be finalised by the end of that year.[92][125][126] The legislation to criminalise conversion therapies was carried forward after Manché' ministry 'River of Love' received Bishop Tom Brown, who is evangelical and founder of the church World of God in Texas USA, after giving him a special inivitation. Brown said that he supports conversion therapy and that "homosexualitu is a sin."[85][127]

Civil Union Bill

See: Recognition of same-sex unions in Malta

Society

Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, introduced a civil union law granting the same rights of marriage, but name, including same-sex adoption.[128]

The enactment of the Civil Union Bill in Malta by the Labour Government under Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was opposed by different groups in the Maltese society including the Roman Catholic Church lead by Bishop Charles Scicluna,[129] members of the opposition lead by Simon Busuttil,[130][131] conservatives and pro-traditional family individuals,[132][133] Sunni Muslims lead by Mohammed El Sadi,[134] Ahmadiyya Muslims lead by Laiq Ahmed Atif,[135] and the Evangelical Alliance of Malta lead by Manché.

Former President of Malta George Abela, refused to sign Civil Union Bill, on "moral grounds".[136]

Referenda Call

The media gave special attention to Manché because he collected signatures as a petition[137] for a referendum in relation to the bill being proposed.[53][138][139][140] Some coverage was given to the same opinion, to have a referendum, by the Islamic Imam Mohammed El Sadi.[141] Some groups, and the Maltese society in general, were skeptic about the Civil Union Bill because it included a law regulating adoption by same sex couples.[142] Additionally former President George Abela declined from signing the bill to become law, of which law was postponed.[143][144] Manché had praised President George Abela for refusing to sign the law.[71][145] The Civil Union Law was later signed by later President her Excellency Mary Louise Coleiro Preca.[144]

Zurrieq incident

After a meeting organized by the Government in Zurrieq, many people went to Mater Dei Hospital suffering from temporarily blindness because of an incident which occurred during the event. Following this incident Manché cited a verse from the Bible on his Facebook page that said: “And Jesus said, ‘For judgement I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be blind’.” This was in the context of the bill, to extend LGBT rights in Malta, in specific reference to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat who also had similar symptoms.[146][147][52]

Inter-religious relationship

See: Religion in Malta

Catholicism

See: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Malta

A type of Catholic iconography in Malta. The 12th station on the Via Crucis of the Ta' Pinu Basilica in Għarb, Gozo

The Roman Catholic Church in Malta and the Ministry Nations for Christ are two separate religious institutions. In an interview with Dr. William Osagiede from Sureway International, Manché explained some of the Christian principles of his fellowship.[148] Manche mentions the historicity of the Papacy as the main reason why his fellowship cannot be Christian and Catholic at the same time. Manché differs with the interpretation of the bible by the Catholic Church such as but not limited to the biblical role of St. Peter, the teaching of St. Paul, the practice of confessions to a priest, priests as mediators between believers and God, prayers to saints including St. Mary, iconography, and spiritual salvation.[149] Other evangelical denominations in comunion share similar opinion of Manché' ministry.[150]

Evangelicalism and other

See: Christianity in Malta

The Ministry 'Nations for Christ', lead by Manché, is in communion with the Evangelical Alliance of Malta but is independent from other religious organizations in Malta.[151][152] During his tour in the USA, Manché has experienced and made contact with different denominations, ethnics, cultures, races and other[153] which is in contrast with Malta being a predominant Roman Catholic country[154] with an established state religion in the constitution of Malta.[155]

Islam

See: Islam in Malta

Mariam Al-Batool Mosque in Paola, Malta

There is limited known relationship of Manché and his Ministry with Muslims, apart from participating in a television programme named Xarabank on TVM about religion. He was noted, in good faith coming from his side, to raise his voice at Muslims participants in the panel in the name of love for Jesus. A Muslim woman who set at the panel asked Manché whether he had actually "read the Koran". A former Muslim, Khaled Baarl, a Maltese man who converted to Christianity alleged that after publicly speaking about leaving his faith of origin, he was threatened to death by Muslim believers but he managed to escape. Baarl was invited to share his conversion, as other Catholics shared their convertions to Islam or Evangelicalism or none. During the programme there was a special pressure on him by Manché to not just say that he was no longer a Muslim but also to enclose that he is now a Christian.[51]

File:Archbishop Charles Scicluna.jpg
Bishop Charles Scicluna

The two religious organizations shared same opinion against the Civil Union Bill as both raised the idea to call for a referendum.[156][157][158][159][160][161]

This contrasted with the Catholic Church's stand, lead by Bishop Charles Scicluna, which distanced itself from Manché to call for a referendum.[83][162][163]

Irreligion and Secularism

See: Secularism

Atheism

See: Atheism

Since childhood Manche spent time talking to others about God. He was amazed after discovering that some people, in the Maltese society, did not believe in any god.[11] Manche believes that marriage is between a man and a woman unified by God. He believes that arranged marriages, including those performed in churches, and marriage conducted by atheists cannot be blessed.[79] Since 2015 atheist organizations in Malta are allowed to conducts weddings, baby namings, funerals, and other secular ceremonies.[165][166]

Manché believes that the Earth is approaching the end of times as evidenced by the increase of atheism, and other factors, as an interpretation of the Bible.[79] Manché has participated on a television programme, named Xarabank, on Television Malta (TVM) to debate religion. The subject of religion was debated with other people including one of the debators which was an atheist named Ramon Casha.[167] Manche has participated on Xarabank again, after remaining on the media agenda, were this time atheist Wayne Hewitt had participated among other panel participants.[168]

In a note left directly to atheists Manche encloses that he does not believe in genuine atheists by stating that "Atheists pride theselves by saying that there is no God. I don`t believe that God believes in Atheists actually. Let me explain to you why. God does not believe in atheists. Why? Because in order for one to be a genuine atheist one has to have searched all knowledge and all wisdom and all that there is visibly seen and unseen and after a diligent honest search, he concludes that there is nothing. And an atheist like that, my friend does not exist."[169]

Morality and Values

"See: Christian values"

The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible started to challenge Catholicism.

Manché' s morality and values are in line with christian principles as influenced from the bible.[170] His general views about morality and values are in regards to belief in the word of God, relationship to God, marriage between a man and a woman, divorce, church attendance, biblical teachings, what amounts to sin, blessing, and other.[171][172][79]

Manche believes in one interpretation of moral marriage which is between a man and a women. According to Manche other marriages such as same-sex marriage, civil marriages and marriages taking place in a different context are not properly defined marriages as they are not according to christian principles.[172][79][165][166]

He Supports the idea of traditional marriage that should aim to the result of procreation for children. According to Manche same-sex couple married or not should not be allowed to adopt children or have children in ither ways as it is against children' rights. Furthermore Manche is against abortion as the in the New Testment Jesus shows negative views of divorce.[172][79] Since 2015 atheist organizations in Malta are allowed to conducts weddings, baby namings, funerals, and other secular ceremonies.[165][166][172][79] The civil union bill, opposed by Manche, gave same-sex couple the right to adopt joint but homosexual people were allowed ro adopt since 2008.[173]

Laicity

"See: Constitution of Malta"

Manche has the freedom of speech and freedom of conscience as long as it is in proportion to national law[174][175] which is held under Maltase constitution, in all its territories.[176][155][177][174]

The republic of Malta is not strictly defined as a constitutional secular state. The constitution provides that the religion of Malta is the "Roman Catholic apostolic religion" (par.1), that the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church have the duty and the right to teach which principles are right and wrong (par.2) and that religious teaching of the Roman Catholic apostolic faith shall be provided in all state schools as part of compulsory education (par.3). The constitution gives to privileged position with the state to other religions, including Manche' ministry but it gives and respects freedom of religion in several ways. Malta is a signatory to the Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights and made a declaration saying that it accepts the protocol's article 2 (on parents' right to have their children educated in line with their religious or philosophical views) only insofar "as it is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training, and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, having regard to the fact that the population of Malta is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic". The protocol gives the freedom for the children of Manche's followers not to attend Roman Catholic religious classes at school. Article 40 guarantees the freedom of conscience and of religious worship and bars the requirement of religious instruction or to show proficiency in religion. The provisions of article 2(1) and (2) are in conflict with the rights guaranteed under article 40 but the provisions of the latter prevail.[178][176][155][177]

Article 163 of the constitution of Malta related to blasphemy says that public vilification or offence of Catholicism and the vilification of its believers, ministers or objects of worship through words, gestures, written matter (printed or not), pictures or visible means carries from one to six months imprisonment. Article 164 extends the previous article to other "cults tolerated by law" but with a maximum prison term of three months. This means that religious organizations respected by law, such as Manche's ministry, does not have equal standing in the constitution. However disrespecting in similar attitudes to other religions which equats similarly to an offense to Catholicism rests to be considered as a crime. Article 165 refers to impeding or disturbing a function, ceremony or service, whether Catholic or of any religion tolerated by law, carrying a maximum prison term of one year extendable by a further year in case of threat of violence.[179] Article 338(o) of the Criminal Code makes the unauthorised wearing of ecclesiastical habit or vestment a contravention against public order.[176][155][177][174]

Financial affairs

See: Nonprofit organizations

Manché was followed by the local media in Malta for not enclosing his fellowship's financial affairs.[180][181][182] Manché and Marius-Richard Cilia questioned why Malta Today were giving specific focus on the enclosure of financial affairs of Nations for Christ ministries than other NGO's. Manché said that his accountant the President of Malta Institue of Management (MIM) Reuben M. Buttigieg, known for his work with notfor profit organization,[183] is responsible for the financial affair and he doesn't interfere with it.[182][184][174]

Donations

See: Donation

Manché's ministry is noted for the high generosity of donations given by parishioners.[4][180][185][186] A local journal, Malta Today was told, by a former congregant, that followers are expected to give at least 10% of their income in form of a tithe. Manché clarified that it is "up to believers to decide whether to donate or not".[187] Despite having less than 500 congregants dispersed around Malta in 2010 alone the fellowship declared an official income of €149,899.[180][181]

Salary

See: List of European countries by average wage

Manché's monthly income had risen to €11,962 per month by 2015[185] while the average salary in Malta was €1,340 per month.[188]

Pastoral missions abroad

Map with the borders and flag of Kenya.

Manché travels around the world to reach other people, in the name of his ministry, such as visits to Kenya and India.[189][190] Manché spent about five whole years travelling around the USA and various other parts of the world, like Asia, Africa and Europe as an evangelical missionary. However he had a strong spiritual feeling leading to his return to his country of birth Malta.[14]

Kenya

In September 2012 Manche was invited by Dr. David Owour to the Mega Revival in Kakamega, Kenya to gather for prayers and witness spirituality. An estimate gathering of around 4 million people from Kenya, Africa and other parts of the world had attended. During the prayer meeting Manché preached to the crowd and addressed Maltese to join them. Accompanying Pastor Gordon-John Manche was a team of eighteen delegates from Malta.[191]

Criticism and Opinions

Gabby Calleja

The president of the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM, Gabi Callejja, acknowledged an apology by the Evangelical Alliance made in the past few days about converting homosexials but said that what had happened was very harmful to the gay community.

      "We are not something which needs to be changed," she stressed. 

Calleja said that parents should not seek to refer their children to psychologists in order to be cured, because they are not sick.

      "Should they need help, such parents should seek out professional therapists for appropriate help."

She said that claims were being made about a psychologist who was offering alleged reparative therapy. Should such claims be founded, a report would be made to the Psychology Board, she said.[192]

Kenneth Wain

NGO Commissioner Professor Kenneth Wain said that all voluntary organisations, including the 'Nations for Christ' and the Roman Catholic Church, should be regulated on a level-playing field.

“If an organisation qualifies as a voluntary one, meaning that it is a non-profit organisation without any government control, then it should be subject to the exact same laws and regulations as all other voluntary organisations."

Wain is a critic of how the Maltese government has, over the years, granted exemptions to several Catholic organisations not enrolled with the Commissioner. This allowed them to receive government grants without being regulated or legally accountable. He has called for enrolment in the commission to become compulsory, warning that the exemptions have created a deficit of public accountability which damages the voluntary sector as a whole.[193]

Literature

See: Maltese literature

Authored books

Old book bindings.jpg

Manché has authored and edited books,[194] which were published by the Nations for Christ, as reported by the Book National Council (in Maltese, Il-Kunsill Nazzjonali Tal-Ktieb) in the Annual Report (pg 31).[195][196] The books are published and translated in Arabic, English, Italian and Maltese.[194]

The following is a list of books authors by Manché:

The River of Love has been praised by other Evangelical groups for the donations of books given to the Malta Evangelical Library.[204]

Theatrical productions

The River of Love had opposed a stage production, named "Jiena Nhobb, Inti Thobb"(I Love, You Love), performed by Maltese artists and asked the public not to attend on a Youtube video and social network.[205] The stage production promoted the debate about surrogacy, IVF, same-sex adoption and other issues among the Maltese society.[89][54] Manché's mentioning in the mainstream media lead him to become an issue of satire at par with Maltese politicians, such as Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and leader of the opposition Simon Busuttil, and other personalities in a stage production named "Sibna z-Zejt"(We Found Oil). Manché's role was acted by Actor JP Busuttil.[206]

See also

Notes

References

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  2. 2.0 2.1 "‘You have a right to be wrong,’ says televangelist". MaltaToday.com.mt. http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/10241/you-have-a-right-to-be-wrong-says-televangelist#.VcVJQUpHmrU. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Televangelist angers gay community with conversion claims". Malta Today. http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/9914/televangelist-angers-gay-community-with-conversion-claims. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Queer no more". Daphne Caruana Galizia's Notebook - Running Commentary. http://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2011/05/queer-no-more/. 
  5. "MaltaToday previous editions - MT 12 July 2015". uberflip.com. http://maltatoday.uberflip.com/i/540322-mt-12-july-2015/59?. 
  6. "Controversial pastor petitions against gay adoptions". Times of Malta. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140401/local/controversial-pastor-petitions-against-gay-adoptions.513164. 
  7. "Program-2013". wordoflifemalta.org. http://www.wordoflifemalta.org/CreationEvangelism/program-2013.htm. 
  8. "Lokali:". iNewsMalta. http://www.inewsmalta.com/dart/20140408-alla-jag-mel-omja-lil-dawk-li-jaraw-manch-dwar-in-ident-ta-urrieq. 
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  35. http://www.wordoflifemalta.org/Activities/EEIII/EEIII%20Training.htm
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  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 http://www.august8.info/resources/prayer%20guide%202010.pdf
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  45. "Times & Locations". riveroflovemalta.org. http://riveroflovemalta.org/pages/times-locations. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
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  47. 47.0 47.1 "Pastor's church fails to submit accounts three years running". MaltaToday.com.mt. http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/54755/pastors_church_fails_to_submit_accounts_three_years_running#.VceLUkpHmrU. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
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  49. http://nationsforchrist.org/nations/modules/extcal/event.php?event=7
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  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 http://www.orizzont.com.mt/oldarticles/article118851.html
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 http://www.orizzont.com.mt/oldarticles/article118628.html
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 http://www.orizzont.com.mt/oldarticles/article115775.html
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  57. 57.0 57.1 "Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ". Cyprus.com. http://www.cyprus.com/apostolic-church-of-jesus-christ-post-2931572.html. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
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  60. 60.0 60.1 "Ghandi xi Nghid - RADIO [ON DEMAND"]. Ghandi xi Nghid. http://andrewazzopardi.org/ghandi-x-nghid-radio-show/. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  61. "Watch: Pastor Manche’s petition against gay adoption". Times of Malta. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140404/timestalk/watch-pastor-manches-petition-against-gay-adoption.513560. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
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  73. "maltamum fully supports the Civil Union in Malta and the legalisation of gay adoption". Maltamum. http://maltamum.com/maltamum-fully-supports-the-civil-union-in-malta-and-the-legalisation-of-gay-adoption/. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
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  117. "Warrants for psychologists as union stages boycott". Times of Malta. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20070123/local/warrants-for-psychologists-as-union-stages-boycott.28737. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
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  122. http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/9955/pastor-s-gay-conversions-throw-spotlight-on-psychologist-wife#.VcuL0UpHmrU
  123. "Televangelist angers gay community with conversion claims". MaltaToday.com.mt. http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/9914/televangelist-angers-gay-community-with-conversion-claims#.VcX7OUpHmrU. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  124. "MGRM dismayed by efforts to 'mischaracterise homosexuality'". Times of Malta. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110507/local/mgrm-dismayed-by-efforts-to-mischaracterise-homosexuality.364082. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
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Bibliography

-Born from Above-Invaded by Heaven' (2004)[1][2][3]

-Upon this Rock-The Unshakable Foundation' (2011);[4]

Further reading

External links

Ministry websites

Televangelism website

  • "Books: Born from above (Paperback) by Gordon John Manche (Author)". Tower.com. http://www.tower.com/born-from-above-gordon-john-manche-paperback/wapi/101669511. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  • "Born from Above: Gordon John Manche: 9780976114208: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Born-Above-Gordon-John-Manche/dp/0976114208. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  • "Born from Above". TheNile.co.nz. http://www.thenile.co.nz/books/Gordon-John-Manche/Born-from-Above/9780976114208/. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  • http://www.bdlbooks.com/religious/3709-upon-this-rock.html