(Evangelical Focus) — More than 700 people have been victims of sexual abuse in churches of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the biggest evangelical denomination of the United States.
An in-depth investigation of newspapers Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News found that around 380 church leaders and volunteers of SBC churches “left behind hundreds of victims” in the last twenty years.
“About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors, ministers, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, deacons, church volunteers,” the Houston Chronicle writes.
The two newspapers have contacted dozens of victims and spoken to some convicted offenders. “Many of the victims were adolescents who were molested, sent explicit photos or texts, exposed to pornography, photographed nude, or repeatedly raped by youth pastors”, the Houston Chronicle wrote. “Some victims as young as 3 were molested or raped inside pastors’ studies and Sunday school classrooms.”