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An investigation revealed Sunday that almost 400 Southern Baptist ministers and church volunteers sexually abused more than 700 victims across the country over the last 20 years.
Those accused of sexual abuse include church volunteers, pastors, ministers, Sunday school teachers and youth pastors. Some of the alleged victims, both male and female, were as young as three when they claim the abuse occurred, and the abuse allegations include claims of molestation, repeated rape, being photographed naked, and being exposed to pornography. The majority of the abuses reportedly occurred in Texas, though cases were spread throughout the country.
Plea - Deals - Remain - Jail
Of the 380 accused, 220 were successfully prosecuted and either convicted or took plea deals, and 100 of those who were convicted remain in jail.
The report found, however, that at least 10 churches since 1998 had employed some 35 ministers and church volunteers and employees who faced charges of sexual misconduct and some of whom are registered sex offenders.
Ministry - Sex - Offenders - Michael - Lee
Those who returned to ministry after being forced to register as sex offenders include Michael Lee Jones at Cathedral of Faith in Houston, Texas and Leslie Mason at various churches in Illinois.
Six former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) presidents also faced accusations of mishandling or covering up sexual abuse allegations, including by shaming the alleged victims. Of those six, Paul Pressler and Frank Page also faced accusations that they committed sexual misconduct.
SBC - President - JD - Greear - Revelations
Current SBC president J.D. Greear lamented the revelations and the fact that SBC leaders failed to listen to victims over Twitter and pledged to do “everything possible to ensure we never make these mistakes again.”
Greear also said that any church that employed a registered sex offender should be cut off from the SBC.
Bible - Pastors - People - Integrity - Self-control
“The Bible calls for pastors to be people of integrity, known for their self-control and kindness,” Greear wrote in an email to the Chronicle. “A...
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