The United States Department of Justice open an investigation against the Southern Baptist Churchthe largest Protestant creed in the country, for sexual abuse, as reported this Friday by the congregation itself in a statement. Church officials said they were cooperating “completely” with the investigations and reiterated that they regret the “mistakes” of the past.
In mid-June, the parishioners of the Southern Baptist Convention approved the creation and dissemination of a pastors record who have committed sexual abuse, after learning of a report that evidenced previous attempts to hide these cases.
The vote took place during the annual meeting of this Church, which was held south of The Angels, and to which some 8,000 people attended to decide the future of the largest Protestant creed in the USA, with almost 15 million of members and more than 47,000 churches in all the country.
Most of the attendees gave the go-ahead both to publish the names associated with abuse complaints and to keep that list updated with the cases that are discovered in the future.
The decision came after an independent report, commissioned by the institution itself, was released in May, which concluded that Church leaders ignored and even intimidated to victims of abuse and hid their denunciations for at least two decades.
The research, carried out by the company Guidepost Solutionscovered the complaints of boys, girls and women against pastors and employees of the churches of the group since 2000.
As detailed in the report, the leadership of the Church already had in its hands a detailed list of religious accused of abuse, but kept it in secret while many of those who appeared in that registry continued to work in temples scattered throughout the country.
Before, the entity had defended that it could not collect information on the alleged abuses for interfering with the autonomy of the different churches.