Southern Baptists are the largest Protestant Christian denomination in the U.S., numbering more than 47,000 churches with over 15 million church members. Only the Catholic Church has more members in the U.S.
As with the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is an integral part of the American foster care and adoption system.
Due to its size, one could say the American foster care system would be severely crippled without the involvement of the SBC, which partners with many local organizations across the U.S. to provide foster care and adoption services, primarily through its North American Mission Board, and its “Send Relief” program.
We have documented very clearly here at Health Impact News that the foster care system in the U.S. is a billion dollar child trafficking system, and over 85% of child sex trafficking victims are under the control of Child “Protective” Services who take children out of their homes and place them into foster care or with adoptive parents.
When Lisa Wheeler wrote an article for the National Review last year titled “Pro-Life Should Include Foster Care, Too,” criticizing American churches for not participating more in state-sponsored foster care programs, we wrote our rebuttal asking why the church would participate in such an evil program?
Sadly, as we have previously reported about the Catholic Church and Independent Baptist Churches, child sex abuse by pastors and youth leaders is widespread among Southern Baptists also.
A six month investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News has found widespread child sex abuse by over 220 Southern Baptist leaders against more than 700 victims since 1998.
And these are just the cases that have reached the courts and are a matter of public record. How many others have been covered up and never been reported?
Abuse of Faith
20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms
by Robert Downen, Lise Olsen, and John Tedesco, The Houston Chronicle (excerpt)
Thirty-five years later, Debbie Vasquez’s voice trembled as she described her trauma to a group of Southern Baptist leaders.
She was 14, she said, when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger, a tiny prairie town an hour north of Dallas. It was the first of many assaults that Vasquez said destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant by the Southern Baptist pastor, a married man more than a dozen years older.
In June 2008, she paid her way to Indianapolis, where she and others asked leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention and its 47,000 churches to track sexual predators and take action against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers. Vasquez, by then in her 40s, implored them to consider prevention policies like those adopted by faiths that include the Catholic Church.
“Listen to what God has to say,” she said, according to audio of the meeting, which she recorded. “… All that evil needs is for good to do nothing. (…) Please help me and others that will be hurt.”
Days later, Southern Baptist leaders rejected nearly every proposed reform.
The abusers haven’t stopped. They’ve hurt hundreds more.