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,” the statement said.
The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention and its entities on the heels of an explosive report that detailed the mishandling of allegations of sexual abuse by church leaders, the SBC said in a statement Friday.
The report in May by a third-party firm, Guidepost Solutions, also said church leaders intimidated victims and their advocates and resisted attempts at reform over the course of two decades.
“Survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action,” the report found, “even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation.”
The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with an estimated 14 million members across more than 47,000 churches.
In its statement Friday, the SBC Executive Committee said it had been recently made aware of the DOJ investigation and that it would fully cooperate.
Southern Baptist Convention passes 2 reform measures aimed at improving its handling of sexual abuse allegations