More Than 200 Church Leaders Charged with Sex Abuse - Victims as Young as 3
Southern Baptist Church officials including Ministers and pastors charged
Over 200 Southern Baptist Church officials including ministers, pastors, deacons, and volunteers have been found guilty of sex abuse spanning over two decades, according to reports.
The extensive investigation in the church's sexual abuse revealed names in a report by the Houston Chronicle.
Two hundred fifty church leaders have been charged, but around 380 have faced allegations of sexual abuse since 1998.
The investigation revealed that there are as many as 700 victims, some as young as three years old.
'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 report stated.
'Some victims as young as three were molested or raped inside pastors' studies and Sunday school classrooms.'
The report also found that 35 pastors, employees, and volunteers suspected of sexual abuse continue to work at churches.
Church leader failed to notify authorities regarding complaints and r allegations of misconduct, according to the report.
62nd president of the Southern Baptist Convention, JD Greear, said he was broken' over Sunday's report.
'I am broken over what was revealed today. The abuses described in this Houston Chronicle article are pure evil.
I join with countless others who are currently "weeping with those who weep."
'The voices in this article should be heard as a warning sent from God, calling the church to repent.
'As Christians, we are called to expose everything sinful to the light. The survivors in this article have done that—at a personal cost few of us can fathom.
'We must admit that our failures, as churches, put these survivors in a position where they were forced to stand alone and speak, when we should have been fighting for them.
'Their courage is exemplary and prophetic. But I grieve that their courage was necessary.'
Pastor Wade Burleson recommended the creation of a sexual predator database for a second time last year.
The Southern Baptist Convention then passed a resolution condemning predators in aid of the victims, NBCNews reported.
It said: 'We call on all persons perpetrating and enabling abuse to repent and confess their sin to Jesus Christ and to church authorities and to confess their crimes to civil authorities.'
Speaking of the new report, Burleson said: 'The thing that makes me saddest is that we didn’t do it ourselves.
'That’s why you need a free press in America.'