Olivet Assembly’s Statement on Mischaracterizations in Newsweek’s Article on June 27

The following is Olivet Assembly USA’s statement in response to an article posted in Newsweek on June 27, 2022.

Olivet Assembly USA (OAUSA) has not been charged with any crime nor was it party to any investigation, nor linked to any criminal accusation, ever in its history, despite the false innuendo of Newsweek attempting to paint the picture as such. The piece ropes OAUSA into an article about an incident that happened three years ago about a church that has been long dissolved. While we are not surprised that the piece is written to benefit their CEO, Dev Pragad, we were very surprised that they did so by forgoing the integrity of basic journalism.

The piece written on June 27 by Newsweek as the top headline suggests that OAUSA was contacted but did not comment. This is simply not true. OAUSA did not receive any questions from any reporters from Newsweek on this matter. If they had reached out to us, as any journalist would have done, we would have corrected the numerous errors in their article.

OAUSA is not the “mother church” of Deer Park Community Church. Newsweek received inaccurate information from their source.

OAUSA is not connected to the incident involving Mr. Frank Lan. OAUSA has not authorized nor does it condone the sale of counterfeit items and such activity is a violation of the guidelines set forth in our Book of Order.

There are no e-commerce businesses in China working for OAUSA. Mr. Lan does not work for OAUSA.

Deer Park Church was not formed by Rev. Chiu’s wife. It was incorporated by Mr. Lan’s wife.

Rev. Chiu’s quote on the unrelated mission between OAUSA and Olivet University has been taken out of context. The two organizations indeed have their distinct missions, board of directors, and operations, unrelated to each other. The two organizations may share the same statement of faith coming from the same evangelical root, but they are two independent organizations.

It is regretful that Newsweek would mischaracterize OAUSA, a denomination in the Presbyterian tradition whose faith stands on the Westminster Confession of Faith, as a sect, and a senior pastor as a cleric. This sensationalism would appear more like tabloid journalism than serious reporting. The article contains numerous other errors not mentioned in this statement. This kind of reporting raises serious questions about Newsweek’s credibility and editorial integrity.

For any media inquiries, please contact Olivet Assembly at media@olivetassembly.org