Southern Baptists Refused to Act on Abuse, Despite Secret List of Pastors

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An independent, third-party investigation within the Southern Baptist Convention has uncovered a widespread coordinated effort to suppress accusations of sexual abuse by pastors and instead protect the denomination from lawsuits.

The report details instances of pastors abusing women and girls in their churches, and found that the SBC Executive Council worked strategically with their lawyers to suppress and discredit accounts from survivors over the past 15 years. It also found that the Executive Council kept a list of more than 700 pastors who they knew to be abusers, and worked to protect them rather than victims and other church members.

While the apparent cover-up effort was widespread, the report does seem to suggest that much of this work and knowledge was kept tight within the Executive Council and its legal team.

In addition to detailing the harms and apparent cover-up, the report also offers an extensive list of recommendations for how the SBC can take positive steps toward reconciling with victims and improving accountability.

Within the SBC, the task force which oversaw the investigation has responded to the report, saying they "must resolve to give of our time and resources to not only care well for survivors of sexual abuse, but to provide a culture of accountability, transparency, and safety as we move forward."

Read the full article HERE.

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