This article originally appeared in the Courier-Journal: A Gannett Company.

Evangelical churches need to confront sexual abuse and coverup within their own ranks, according to a statement signed by more than 1,500 people worldwide and promoted by a former sex-crimes prosecutor.

The “Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ” was prompted in part by a Maryland lawsuit filed by 11 people against Sovereign Grace Ministries, a denomination now based in Louisville, alleging cover-up of abuse within its churches. Read more

 

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Janet Heimlich is an award-winning journalist and the author of "Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment," the first book to fully examine the issue of child abuse and neglect enabled by religious belief. In 2012, Janet founded the Child-Friendly Faith Project whose mission is to share knowledge and build community around the issue of religious child maltreatment (RCM) and advocate for and empower those whose lives are impacted by RCM. She also sits on the board of directors of Foundation Beyond Belief and co-hosts the podcast, "Parenting Beyond Belief." Prior to becoming a child advocate, Janet was a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, work for which she won numerous journalism awards; she has also written nonfiction articles for such publications as Texas Monthly and the Texas Observer.

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