NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee announced on Friday that they are under investigation by the Department of Justice.
The SBC provided a news release from President Bart Barber on Twitter Friday evening regarding that they are aware that the DOJ initiated an investigation which will include multiple SBC entities. According to The Associated Press, SBC did not provide details about the investigation but “indicated” that the investigation dealt with sexual abuse problems.
The SBC Executive Committee received a subpoena but no individuals have, the committee’s lawyers told the AP.
“Individually and collectively each SBC entity is resolved to fully and completely cooperate with the investigation,” the statement said, according to the AP. “While we continue to grieve and lament past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current leaders across the SBC have demonstrated a firm conviction to address those issues of the past and are implementing measures to ensure they are never repeated in the future.”
According to the AP, the SBC task force released a 288-page report earlier in the year from Guidepost Solutions from an outside consultant that looked into an independent investigation and found “disturbing details about how denominational leaders mishandled sex abuse claims and mistreated victims.”
The report was focused on how the SBC’s Executive Committee responded to abuse cases, according to the AP. The report revealed that SBC Executive Committee “secretly maintained” a list of the clergy as well as church workers who had been accused of abuse. The SBC Executive Committee apologized and later released that secret list. Following the report and the release of the list, the SBC voted in June to come up with a way to track pastors and church workers who were “credibly accused of sex abuse” as well as the creation of a new task force to oversee it.
In their news release, SBC said they will cooperate with the DOJ’s investigation.
The AP said they have reached out to the DOJ for comment but has not heard back.
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