Apparently, the Catholic Church isn’t the only religious entity forced to deal with sexual abuse of youth. Evangelicals are just as guilty, if not more so, says Boz Tchividjian, Billy Graham’s grandson and a law professor at Liberty University.
Tchividjian, who investigates such abuses, told a room of journalists last week that evangelicals have no room to chastise Catholics when it comes to sexual abuse in the church.
“Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,” Tchividjian, executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), told Religion News Service (RNS). Tchividjian said too many evangelicals have “sacrificed the souls” of young victims in order to protect the reputation of their churches.
Tchividjian told RNS that when it comes to sexual abuse, accountability and transparency are “frowned upon” by evangelicals and that exposing these tragic incidents is discouraged. Victims, he said, are often told to “protect the reputation of Jesus.”
“We’ve got the Gospels backwards,” Tchividjian said.
GRACE launched a campaign during the summer encouraging evangelical leaders to expose sexual abuse in their churches. Bob Jones University, in Greenville, S.C., hired GRACE to investigate abuse allegations at that school.
“That’s like the mothership of fundamentalism,” Tchividjian said.
Tchividjian is looking into establishing a national center for GRACE, possibly at Pepperdine University, a Christian school in California.