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Alleged victims of sexual and physical abuse in Southern Baptist Convention churches told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the ministers to whom they reported their abuse often tried to cover up their allegations, either by handling the matter internally, silencing or shaming the victims, or simply doing nothing.
Both men and women who allegedly experienced abuse in the SBC claimed that their ministers acted more to protect their churches and shield them from public controversy, sometimes failing to comply with mandatory reporting laws in the effort.
SBC - Churches - Structure - Style - Degree
While SBC churches vary wildly in structure, style, and to a degree, theological focus due to an emphasis on church autonomy, similarities between abuse victims’ testimonies from different churches point to potential cultural and structural problems that enable abuse in churches throughout the denomination.
The Southern Baptist Convention is the second-largest Christian denomination in the U.S., with over 47,000 churches each year sending millions of meals to disaster zones, thousands of missionaries and trained volunteers around the country and world. Despite all the good the SBC spreads globally, however, a darkness has tainted the church.
Victims - Abuse - Baptist - Convention - SBC
Victims who said they suffered abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) say church leaders often responded with silence, shame and cover-up, compounding and enabling further abuse.
An investigative report from the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News revealed 380 SBC ministers and volunteers have faced credible accusations from more than 700 victims over the past 20 years.
Churches - SBC - Vary - Church - Structure
While churches in the SBC vary wildly in local church structure, policy and theological focus, due largely to the denomination’s belief in local church autonomy, victims who spoke with The Daily Caller News Foundation recounted SBC abuse cases from various parts of the country that stretched over decades and bore striking similarities with one another concerning their church leaders’ responses to their allegations.
Those responses included...
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