The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News report that about 380 people who worked or volunteered in Southern Baptist churches have been charged with sex crimes against more than 700 victims since since 1998.
Many of the victims shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives, and urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions, notes the Houston Chronicle.
Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called for an independent, third-party inquiry into sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention, notes the Washington Post.
Mohler, who has demanded that people have children, said any church that knowingly protects sexual abusers should no longer be considered “in friendly cooperation” with the convention and be stripped of its membership.
However, Southern Baptist Convention leaders were previously made aware of widespread sexual abuse back in 2008 when a victim came forward and implored leaders to act against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers and establish sexual abuse prevention policies. The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee rejected the proposals, reports the Associated Press.