Ron O'Grady, a clergyman and leading crusader against child prostitution and child pornography, has claimed that the biggest occupational group of convicted child abusers in some Western countries are church workers, including clergy. O'Grady made these comments in an address to 2,500 pastors and lay Christians at the World Convention of the Churches of Christ, in Brisbane, Australia, on August 3, and repeated them in an interview with ENI on his return to his home in Aotearoa, New Zealand.He told ENI that delegates at the Brisbane conference were shocked when he said church workers were among the worst perpetrators of child sex abuse. He had also quoted research suggesting that 6 percent of U.S. Catholic priests were pedophiles, many of whom had decided to work in the church to gain access to children.A Disciples of Christ minister, O'Grady is honorary president of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children (ECPAT), an advocacy group formed in Bangkok in 1990. Initially set up as a six-year project, ECPAT now has an international profile as an agency campaigning against child abuse, Internet pornography and the child sex trade. ECPAT operates in 50 countries, and has received invitations to set up offices in another 20 countries. Originally working from a Christian basis, ECPAT's leaders soon decided that to be effective the agency had to encompass all major religions, particularly Buddhism and Hinduism, Asia's principal faiths.ECPAT's headquarters in Bangkok, with a staff of 10, have a relatively small annual budget of $1 million, paid mainly by European governments and UNICEF, along with support from churches in Germany, Sweden and elsewhere. The Bangkok staff carry out research, monitor child ...

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