People Demand More Accountability From The Church For These Horrible Acts
The Southern Baptist Convention, the second largest faith group in the U.S., is under major heat after a shocking report detailed sexual abuse cases dating back to 1998.
The cases were covered by the Houston Chronicle and San Antoinio Express-News with around 380 Southern Baptist pastors, ministers, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, deacons and church volunteers being accused of sexual misconduct since 1998. More than 200 of them have been convicted or took plea deals, while nearly 100 of them are currently in prisons across the country.
Unfortunately, more than 700 victims were left in the aftermath, according to the three-part investigation. These included teenagers and children, some as young as three, who were “molested or raped inside pastors’ studies and Sunday school classrooms.”
Many victims said their stories of abuse were largely ignored or silenced by church leaders. One victim, who accused her pastor of raping and impregnating her when she was a teen, said church leaders even urged her to get an abortion. When she wouldn’t comply, she said they threatened her and her kid.
Dozens of pastors, employees and volunteers were reportedly able to continue working in the Southern Baptist churches despite the sexual abuse allegations.
Now that the Chronicle and the Express-News have grabbed people’s attention, leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention promised to crack down on abuse in the church and to provide a secure space for victims to come forward.
In multiple tweets on Sudnay, SBC’s president J.D. Greear said he was “broken” by the stories of rampant sexual abuse, and he vowed to “pursue every possible avenue” to “stopping predators in our midst.”
“We — leaders in the SBC — should have listened to the warnings of those who tried to call attention to this. I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure we never make these mistakes again.”