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Government Southern Baptist president calls for action on sexual abuse

Southern Baptist president calls for action on sexual abuse

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The president of the Southern Baptist Convention says the denomination must act to fight sexual abuse.

Pastor J.D. Greear was speaking to the denomination’s governing body on Monday to report on the progress of an advisory group on sexual abuse. The comments also come a week after two Texas newspapers published an investigation detailing hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches.

The SBC’s structure as a voluntary association of autonomous churches has hindered past efforts at accountability. Greear said Monday that autonomy should not be practiced in a way that allows safe harbor for predators.

The nation’s largest Protestant denomination has resisted previous calls to create a database of abusers. Greear said Monday a database is a possibility the group is still studying.

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