The Christian Science Monitor

Churches struggle with their #MeToo moment

Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian has devoted most of his career to an emotionally and spiritually wrenching task.

A former prosecutor, he’s been investigating charges of sexual misconduct and child abuse for nearly three decades. Since the mid-2000s, however, he’s focused on American houses of worship, especially those within his own evangelical Protestant tradition. He’s handled hundreds of cases over the years, and he is still seared by the memories of them.

There was the missionary boarding school in Africa his team investigated, in which house parents and teachers were abusing a number of children. “It was an eye opener for us, we left our soul behind after the investigation,” says Mr. Tchividjian, who in 2003 founded an organization called GRACE, or Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.

While the #MeToo movement has revealed widespread abuse from Hollywood to government to businesses, mounting allegations of sexual misconduct within houses of worship and religious communities point to something perhaps even more appalling

High-profile casesWhy ‘I lost my church’Protecting the powerfulWhere abuse flourishesBreaking a taboo

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