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Few Church Leaders Discuss Abuse Crisis Says Pew Research

Most startling is how little church-goers in Protestant faith traditions indicated leaders actively raised the topic.

Few Church Leaders Discuss Abuse Crisis Says Pew Research

The News

In a news release issued July 10, Pew Research Center said it conducted a survey this spring asking US adults (those who say they attend religious services a few times a year or more) whether “the clergy or other religious leaders at their place of worship have spoken out about sexual harassment, assault or abuse.” The survey results: “[A]bout three-in-ten say their clergy have spoken out about sexual abuse (29%), while two-thirds say they have not heard their clergy say anything about this topic (68%).”

Pew Research Center also notes:

  • “There are similar patterns among religious groups, with the exception of Catholics. Catholics are more likely than other U.S. Christians to hear clergy talking about sex abuse in general (41% among Catholics vs. 27% among Protestants). And Catholics who attend Mass at least a few times a year are more likely to say they hear their clergy talk only about supporting victims (24%), compared with a smaller share among Protestants (11%).”

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Matthew Branaugh is editor of content and business development for Church Law & Tax at Christianity Today. He earned his juris doctor (JD) with honors from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

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Posted:
  • July 15, 2019

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