NPR takes up the issue of Pastors who abuse

Check out the following story (including audio) about abuse by pastors. They report 1:33 women have experienced a sexual advance by pastor:

Key elements found in the researcher’s survey?

  1. Dual relationships or conflicting roles (where pastor is counselor and highest authority)
  2. Holding leaders in too much awe and that leader’s lack of accountability
  3. Isolation of communication (pastor alone in church without much oversight)
  4. Unrepresentative language that treats clergy sexual abuse as affairs rather than abuses of power

I would have liked to have heard more detail on the survey results. If anyone finds more data out there, let me know.


Filed under Abuse, christian counseling, Christianity: Leaders and Leadership, counseling, pastors and pastoring

2 responses to “NPR takes up the issue of Pastors who abuse

  1. Jess

    This article is about a person who is becoming a pastor who was convicted of past sexual abuse of a minor. Although that’s not the same scenario as what you’ve referred to in your post, I thought it might be of interest to someone anyhow:

  2. I am rarely skeptical of just how low people can sink (sin is a pretty determined opponent). However 1:33 seems really, really high. I guess I would like better clarity around “some form of sexual advance” and “religious leader”.

    But taking the fact at face value…. That would mean that in every single church around the country (most churches have somewhere around 50+) has a pastor who tries to “sexually advance” on women. Or, it means that there are fewer pastors who are “prolific” in their “advancing.”

    Although I suppose if you define “leader” to “anyone on staff or volunteer position” I might buy that number.

    I dunno. Color me skeptical of the research. But I bet whatever the true number is, it’s disturbingly high.

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