Jump directly to the Content

News&Reporting

Sex Offenders Can Find Hope in Christ But Not Necessarily a Place at Church

Most Christians believe offenders belong at worship. Most congregations aren’t prepared to welcome them.
|
Sex Offenders Can Find Hope in Christ But Not Necessarily a Place at Church

Churches that suspended in-person gatherings during the pandemic have pledged not to welcome their congregations back until they’re sure they can be safe. While the risk of coronavirus spread is the major concern right now, LifeWay Christian Resources is urging leaders to use their reopening plans as a chance to also revisit their policies to prevent sexual abuse.

Most pastors see their churches as safe places that protect against abuse and offer healing to victims, but protocols vary by congregation.

At the Family Empowerment Center, a church in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, pastors and staff are trained to pay attention to new faces. During one Sunday gathering before the pandemic, they noticed a visitor intently watching children in the congregation. They met him, learned his name, and later found him listed on a sex offender registry. His Facebook page also turned up unsettling posts about children.

The church had a plan in place for cases like his, developed based on ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
September
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.