Tens of thousands are gathering at Allphones Arena in Sydney for the annual Hillsong Conference, and among those in attendance is international pop star Justin Bieber.
Bieber, 21, reportedly was recruited to the event by the global megachurch by his friend and pastor, Carl Lentz, who leads Hillsong's congregation in New York City. CBS reported that Lentz recruited several American celebrities and sports stars to the conference.
Ten Network television quoted Hillsong Senior Pastor Brian Houston as saying Bieber paid his own way to Australia, and that he admired the singer for attending "like tens of thousands of others... to build stronger foundations in his life."
Bieber, who has made headlines for a number of incidents and brushes with the law, expressed to the media his appreciation for Lentz, a man he said changed his life.