Thousands of followers of the main American Protestant Church approved by a large majority on Tuesday June 15, in the midst of a scandal concerning hundreds of sexual assaults, the establishment of tools to fight against this scourge, according to American media. These tools include a database called “Ministry check” which will publicly identify members of the Southern Baptist Convention accused of sexual abuse, as well as a “task force” responsible for implementing reforms aimed at fight against sexual assault within this religious institution.
More than 8,000 faithful of this Church, which has more than fifteen million, especially in the southern United States, are gathered for their annual assembly in Anaheim, California, and most have supported these two proposals, according to several American media including the daily Houston Chronicle. It is this newspaper which, associated with the San Antonio Express-Newsrevealed in 2019 the massive scandal involving nearly 400 Southern Baptist Convention pastors, volunteers and educators who committed assaults on more than 700 victims over two decades.
An independent investigation report, commissioned by the Church, had also concluded in May that the religious institution had, for years, practiced obstruction and concealment in the face of the testimonies of the victims. A few days after the publication of this damning report, the Church had also made public a 205-page document listing since 2007 its members who have been accused of sexual violence. “Make no mistake, (…) we are at a pivotal moment”Pastor Bruce Franck, who spearheaded the Southern Baptist Convention’s task force on sexual abuse, commented on Tuesday, according to the washington post.