The Christian mission field is a “magnet” for sexual abusers, Boz Tchividjian, a Liberty University law professor who investigates abuse said Thursday (Sept. 26) to a room of journalists.
While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, ”I think we are worse,” he said at the Religion Newswriters Association conference, saying too many evangelicals had “sacrificed the souls” of young victims.
“Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,” said Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham and executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which has investigated sex abuse allegations.
On one hand, Tchividjian’s job is to investigate and deal with child abuse cases in Protestant churches. That’s probably going to give him a jaundiced view of the situation. On the other hand … ouch.
My guess is that the decentralized nature of Evangelical churches makes it much harder to deal with child abuse systematically. With the Catholic church there is a large and well established institution that can be blamed, forced to deal with the situation and sued if necessary. An evangelical church can afford to just push out the criminal (and the victim) and pretend that it doesn’t reflect on their institution.