Billy Graham's grandson, Boz Tchividjian thinks that we are. Speaking at last week's Religion Newswriter's Association conference, the executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) said that the mission field is a magnet for abusers.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey reports:
"While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, 'I think we are worse,' he said … saying too many evangelicals had "sacrificed the souls" of young victims.
Earlier this summer, GRACE spearheaded an online petition decrying the 'silence' and 'inattention' of evangelical leaders to sexual abuse in their churches.
'The Protestant culture is defined by independence,' Tchividjian said. Evangelicals often frown upon transparency and accountability, he said, as many Protestants rely on Scripture more than religious leaders, compared to Catholics.
Abusers discourage whistle-blowing by condemning gossip to try to keep people from reporting abuse, he said. Victims are also told to protect the reputation of Jesus.
Too many Protestant institutions have sacrificed souls in order to protect their institutions, he said. 'We've got the Gospels backwards,' he said."
Leadership Journal's sister publication Church Law and Tax has been a cutting-edge leader for decades in equipping and educating churches to protect children and other vulnerable people from sexual abuse.
And don't miss this: Church Law and Tax's Matt Branaugh asks the question we're all thinking: "Do Religions Produce More than Their Fair Share of Child Abusers" over at Out of Ur.
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