Billy Graham’s grandson blames church for protecting child sex abusers
Tola Mbakwe Premier Media
The grandson of famous US evangelist Billy Graham has been vocal about the horror of child abuse in the Church.
Boz Tchividjian is the head of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which investigates sexual abuse in Christian organizations.
In a recent interview with Vice.com he said it’s his life’s focus to expose sex abuse in the Church because churches usually protect the abuser at the expense of the victim.
He became more passionate about the issue when he started practicing law and served as chief prosecutor in the Sexual Crimes Division.
“There was no greater defender of children than Jesus,” he said.
Tchividjian suggested that child abuse scandals are worse in the Protestant churches than the Catholic Church.
He said that data gathered from top insurers of Protestant churches a few years ago showed that there were 260 reports a year of child sex abuse by church leaders or members of the congregation. Other data for the Catholic Church reported 228 incidents.
Tchividjian added: “If you just look at these numbers, they tell us that more children are being abused within Protestant churches than in the Catholic Church. One aspect of that is that there are way more Protestants and Protestant churches than there are Catholics.
“But for me, it’s important to share that statistic when speaking with Protestant audiences so that they stop pointing their fingers at the Catholic Church and engage more with their own church.”
Tchividjian, who’s also a law professor at large evangelical school Liberty University, accused churches of not creating “safe spaces” for victims. He gave an example of Presbyterian pastor who preached numerous sermons on abuse.
The pastor told Graham afterwards she had ten women reveal they had beensexually abused as children.
“I think the reason they approached her was that in preaching about it from the pulpit, she created a safe space for them to talk about it,” he said.
“Too often victims are afraid to say anything because they’re afraid of how people will respond.”
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