The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has concealed sexual abuse by pastors and volunteers for years, reports The New York Times Sunday. This is stated in a research report commissioned by the American church community with fourteen million members.
The SBC is the largest Protestant church community in the United States. Only the Roman Catholic Church is larger in the country.
As calls for an independent investigation from victims of sexual abuse within the church grew louder, church leaders agreed in the summer of 2021. The research report covers the period from 2000 to the present.
According to the investigative report, the SBC did everything it could to keep sexual abuse complaints under wraps. Avoiding liability was in the interests of victims. They were sometimes pressured to keep quiet and were portrayed as opportunists.
The SBC has a list of hundreds of suspected perpetrators within the church, according to the report. Nothing would have been done with that.
One of the perpetrators of the abuse is said to be the former president of the SBC. The independent investigators call the allegations against him credible.
Do you need to talk about your experience with sexual abuse? You can contact the Sexual Violence Center free of charge and anonymously: 0800-01 88. Victim Support Netherlands can also be reached via 0900-01 01 for people who have had to deal with this. You can also call if you know someone who is a victim.
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