October 4th, 2022

Justice Department Investigates Southern Baptist Convention Over Abuse

Date:

A federal investigation will look into the largest Protestant denomination’s response to abuse, following a bombshell report commissioned and released by the Southern Baptist Commission (SBC) in May.

The SBC Executive Committee confirmed on Friday that the Justice Department “has initiated an investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention, and that the investigation will include multiple SBC entities.”

The general counsel for the Executive Committee (EC)—which oversees day-to-day business for the convention and was the subject of the SBC’s own abuse investigation—said the EC has received a subpoena, but no individuals have been subpoenaed at this point.

The SBC and its entities have committed to cooperating with the investigation.

A statement signed by the presidents of each SBC entity and seminary referred to their involvement as part of their ongoing commitment to transparency and abuse reform.

“While we continue to grieve and lament past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current leaders across the SBC have demonstrated a firm conviction to address those issues of the past and are implementing measures to ensure they are never repeated in the future,” it read.

An independent investigation by Guidepost Solutions into the EC, released in May 2022, found that over the past 20 years, its leaders had compiled a secret list of more than 700 abusive pastors, mishandled allegations, and mistreated the victims who asked for help.

The investigation, which cost over $2 million, spanned 330 interviews and five terabytes of documents collected over eight months.

Hours before the EC confirmed the Justice Department …

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