The widely-publicized cases of child sexual abuse by clerics in the past decade are rarely justified in church doctrine, but they were often affected by the religious leaders’ attitude that protecting the institution is more important than the child’s welfare. Also, the religious authority of the abuser is used to intimidate the child into accepting sexual advances and discouraging the child and the family from reporting the abuse to secular authorities.
Furthermore, churches have used First Amendment arguments to limit civil liability for clergy sex abuse.
The articles on child sex abuse in this index raise policy questions or illustrate how religion was related to the abuse or the coverup.
Child sexual abuse patterns in religious settings 8/5/2020
Investigations reveal a culture of incest, rape, and abuse in Amish communities 1/14/2020
Decades of abuse at North Carolina church commune reported 2/27/2017
Child sex abuse coverup among Orthodox Jews 7/22/2013
Louisiana court rejects religious immunity in child sex abuse
Religious defense rejected in child sex abuse
Ozark pastors charged in child sex abuse rituals