#ChurchToo Blows Up On Social Media Exposing Rampant Child Sex Abuse by Religious Leaders

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

The “ChurchToo” Hashtag has been used to call out sexual predators disguised as trustworthy religious leaders who have been protected by the church system.

By Rachel Blevins
November 27, 2017

While the Catholic church is no stranger to sexual abuse scandals, victims from other religious communities have recently taken to social media with the hashtag #ChurchToo, to call out the predators who were disguised as trustworthy Christian leaders.

As Twitter user Elizabeth Halford noted, after the hashtag “MeToo” went viral, several of the nearly 2 million users from around 85 countries who shared their stories, were sharing account of sexual abuse that occurred at the hands of religious leaders.

“Following the #ChurchToo hash with interest. Many #MeToo stories at the hands of the church,” Halford wrote. “And me? I was made to sign a purity contract at age 11. And witnessed a man confess from the pulpit having sex w/a child. Praised for his bravery. No further action.”

Another Twitter user, Rosemary Johnson, shared a similar story. She claimed that she had witnessed multiple men publicly admit to sexual harassment and assault, and instead of facing consequences, or being reported to the police, they were “praised for their bravery & honesty.”

“I CANNOT COUNT the number of times I’ve heard guys in church PUBLICLY admit to molestation, harassment, assault, etc, only to be praised for their bravery & honesty,” Johnson wrote. “No consequences. The church’s legacy of protecting abusers is sickening. #churchtoo”

While the idea that a man can confess to and repent of his sins is one that has been present in religion for centuries, several of the women who were using the “ChurchToo” hashtag, noted that by putting the men in an environment where they were praised for confessing their sins, many of them went on to do the same thing again and again—partially because they faced no negative consequences for their actions, and partially because they knew that every time they confessed to a new set of sins in church, they would be praised for their “bravery and honesty.”

Twitter user Robin Anderson said she was sexually abused by a pastor when she was 7 years old, and because—even after it was reported—the pastor faced no consequences, he continued to abuse young children.

The Rest…HERE

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