A new report from the Evangelical Alliance (EA) said 'spiritual abuse' is a seriously problematic term because of its ambiguity.
Produced by the EA Theology Advisory Group (TAG), the report outlined how 'spiritual abuse' is a seriously problematic term because attempts by some to use it for safeguarding laws "would be unworkable in practice, potentially discriminatory towards religious communities, and damaging to inter-faith relations".
Rev Dr David Hilborn, chair of the of TAG told Premier why he believes the term should be nixed.
"It's important to start with the existing language of the law that applies to everybody and not create a special category just for religious people because that may single them out and make them subject to religious discrimination.
"Because the term by definition has to apply to all faith traditions, what it could do is set one faith tradition against another because they might disagree on theology and accuse each other of abusing the faith systems of the other, so we don't want to see that kind of culture war."
Rev Hilborn urged Christians to use other terms instead.
He said: "What we want to do is say that there is psychological abuse, there's emotional abuse.
"That's well defined legally, there's case law on that. Let's accept that sometimes that might take place on church premises and sometimes that might not."
The guidance given by EA comes after The Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) raised concern over the fact that two thirds of people say they've experienced what the group defines as spiritual abuse.
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