News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Two thirds not confident they could identify abuse in church

by Antony Bushfield

Only 33 per cent of professionals and members of faith-based organisations said they felt confident they could spot the indicators.

The survey asked more than 1,300 faith community members about their understanding of faith or belief linked child abuse.

The abuse in question was not just sexual but also physically and psychological.

It looked specifically at their ability to identify instances of this type of abuse and their ability to respond and deal with cases professionally.

The research was commissioned by the National Working Group on Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief and undertaken by Manchester Metropolitan University in partnership with the Victoria Climbié Foundation UK (VCF) and the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS).


Illustration only

Senior Lecturers in Abuse Studies and research lead Dr Lisa Oakley said: "There are relatively small numbers of recorded cases and this could be due to underreporting and a lack of recognition of such cases.

"The respondents reported wide variety of definitions and understandings of child abuse linked to faith or belief - from witchcraft and spirit possession to female genital mutilation."

The study found that only 25 per cent of people had received training on this issue.

It comes 16 years after the death of Victoria Climbié who was tortured by her guardians and taken to churches to try and remove demons.

In 2000 her great aunt Marie-Thérèse Kouao took the child to a church and the pastor said her injuries were due to demonic possession.

On a second occasion another pastor took no action, despite suspecting abuse, and instead prayed to free Victoria from demons.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email