A bombshell investigation has shaken the Southern Baptist community. The church just released a previously secret list of pastors and church-affiliated employees who had been accused of sexual abuse after keeping it secret for more than a decade. The horrific 205-page database, which includes over 700 case entries against hundreds of perpetrators, was released after a Guidepost Solutions investigation found rampant coverups of sexual abuse by church leadership. It sheds a light on how denominational leaders have for years hidden violence within their own ranks and actively resisted calls for reform. It has also prompted the question: just how many hundreds, if not thousands, of unsuspecting Southern Baptists were brutally abused while the church stood by and did nothing?
Sign now to demand the Department of Justice step in and investigate these heinous crimes!
This story is, tragically, not new and not atypical. Recently released documents reveal the tragic impact of abuse by Southern Baptist leaders on their powerless congregation members, and often children. But powerful religious institutions have been found to be covering up these types of abuses over and over again, and we must ensure that the cases revealed in recent reports are carefully and thoroughly investigated.
Clearly, under pressure from the Guidepost Solutions investigation, the church felt it necessary to cooperate and release their previously-secret lists of accused abusers. Yet while internally-released documents and internal reviews are steps in the right direction, they are not enough. Churches may not have to pay taxes, but they still have to follow the law. And in this case, it is time the Department of Justice step in to conduct a formal external investigation and review.As so many survivors know all too well, we cannot rely on the institutions that have perpetrated this harm to hold themselves accountable. It simply does not work, and more victims will likely be traumatized in the future. We must push the Department of Justice to step in and perform its own investigation into how exactly this was allowed to happen. An external investigation is desperately needed to gain justice for previous victims and prevent more victimization in the future. Sign the petition now if you agree!