Religion's role in the sexual abuse of children globally

Updated: Jun 5


RELIGION AND SEXUAL ABUSE According to statistics, over 30 million children are sexually abused each year. If we factor into the equation that over 60 % of children never disclose abuse, the real number is likely significantly higher. Till this day, no mainstream religious organization has disclosed the number of reported sexual abuse allegations in their entirety, leaving experts to only guess. By one estimate, main stream religions globally have been responsible for the sexual abuse of some 500 million children in the last 100 years. While it is true that sexual abuse is a global problem, those who have set themselves up as supposed spiritual and moral guides should have leaders who are exemplary in protecting the innocence of our youths. And, they should have established policies in place to prevent the infestation of predators among their leaders. Not only have they failed to do that, they have robbed millions of children of innocence and no amount of confessions will atone for their immoral debauchery.


SEXUAL ABUSE - CATHOLIC CHURCH


Cases of sexual abuse by Catholic Church Priest have been reported all over the world, including Kenya, Japan, India, Australia, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Scotland, Whales, Canada, El Salvador, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chili, Peru. Even the Vatican!


SEXUAL ABUSE - BUDDHISM


The Denver Post reported Boulder-born Buddhist who were engaged in various heinous acts including child rape. Allegations were 1st brought to light by Buddhist Project Sunshine. A 57-page report compiled by the organization known as An Olive Branch, shared the experience of one 15-year-old girl.


“I want to draw attention in particular to two individuals whose actions I find particularly egregious. I will name them because I want others to be protected from them. The first one is, who groomed me and molested me when I was 15 years old. This occurred at, during an assembly program. He convinced me to spend the night with him and his tent and molested me while his eleven-year-old son was in the same bed next to us. He tried to have intercourse with me but stopped because I started screaming. Everybody knew what was going on, but no one did anything, he wasn't even asked to leave The Center. Later I had therapy with a therapist who was a Shambhalian. It was a dual relationship. I realize that now. She knew about Him. So many people knew. She had witnessed it. It was normalized in the culture. I know of other women who were taken advantage of as teenagers.”


- 15 year old victim


Time Magazine shared one experience of a 12-year-old girl who stated that one Monk forced her and three others to massage him nearly every night for several months when she lived in the monastery. The Monk sent all children home except for one, Aye Chan May, who was soon brutally raped by the monk. The Times report continues: "Myanmar law does not explicitly allow differential treatment for monks, but when a monk is accused of criminal misconduct, police begin the investigative process with considerable restraint. In most cases, they contact the regional branch of Myanmar’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture (MORAC) for advice on how to proceed. The ministry may then notify the local clerical body. This is where police involvement often ends.


According to Buddhist Door Global, in Thailand, a Buddhist Monk kidnapped a 13-year-old novice Monk, forcing him to perform messages and oral sex. And intimidated him to comply by stating he possessed a firearm. According to Bangkok Post veteran Thai Journalist, Sanitsuda Ekachai, reports of sexual misconduct among Thailand’s Buddhist monastics have become so frequent as to be almost commonplace. Adding that temples are a breeding ground for abuse and could no longer be considered safe sanctuaries of spiritual refuge for the nation’s children.


SEXUAL ABUSE - HINDUISM


A Hindu temple priest in Spain’s Mallorca was arrested after reports of him sexually assaulting a 12-year-girl in a private room of the temple while her family prayed. Hindu temples in India are also known for grooming jogni or temple slaves, as young as 5-years-old, who are dedicated to a temple God. In time, temple slaves are approached by village men and forced to have sex with them. Usually, men from higher cast, who are deemed untouchable by the laws of the land. As such, Hindu temples are a breeding ground for child sexual exploitation, sexual assault and human trafficking. In Prostitutes of god, An article published in the Independent on Sep 10, 2010 by Matilda Battersby, it stated, "Some girls are dedicated to the goddess at age two or three. They won’t actually enter into sex work until they reach puberty at around twelve. The girls most at risk of being dedicated will have grown up in very matriarchal Devadasi communities. There aren’t any men. They don’t have fathers. So there probably is some understanding from a young age that they’re not from traditional families, they don’t have husbands." The article continues, "the girls probably won’t have a real understanding of the sex work element until what they call their ‘first night’. This is when their virginity is sold to a local man, normally the highest bidder. He might be a local farmer, landowner or businessman. Some of them say, “I was dedicated to the goddess, but I didn’t know this was what was expected.” Battersby adds “When I first went to India I thought some of the women might consider it a kind of honor to be a Devadasi, because of it is an act of religious devotion. Sexuality and divinity are very closely entwined in the Hindu faith. Religion is closely linked to sexuality and beauty. But I think there’s very little religious link left now. Most of the women that we spoke to don’t even pay any heed to the traditional religious practices of the goddess. They see it as a business." "HIV is very prevalent in the community. Our translator, who works very closely with these communities, describes HIV as being like plucking a bunch of grapes. As soon as a woman is infected then her whole family becomes infected. Every man she sleeps with then becomes infected. Then the men pass it onto their wives. It’s very difficult to measure the disease’s prevalence because many don’t understand what they've got."


SEXUAL ABUSE - ORTHODOX JUDAISM


The Jewish Orthodox community has not been spared from pedophile religious leaders either. A Brooklyn Yeshiva teacher named Yehuda Kolko, who had victims spanning decades that prompted an inquiry by a religious court in the 1980s, where he was pronounced innocent by Rabbi Chaim Scheinbert. He pleaded guilty over 20-years later, and by one estimate had victimized over 200 children during his career as a Rabi. According to multiple confirmed reports, Scheinbert intimidated and threatened witnesses as did Yeshiva University's Rabbi Modechai Willig. Clearly, we are dealing with a religious organization where child sexual assault is not only accepted but predators are protected and victims are silenced by synagogue leaders. It is most reprehensible and unforgivable.


SEXUAL ABUSE - ISLAM


When it comes to the Islamic faith, sexual assault is widely reported and protected by Muslim faith leaders during Hajj, a ritual pilgrimage to the city of Mecca attended by over 2 million Muslims every year. It’s a pilgrimage that by far is considered one of the most important acts of faith. To visit the Kaabah or Sacred Mosque, believed to be the holiest shrine of the Islamic faith, it a dream come true for many Muslims, but it has become a breeding ground for sexual assault left unchecked and unpunished by Muslim leaders. An article published by the University of Southern California reports that hundreds of women have reported being sexually assaulted during their visit to Mecca. Assaults that include being grabbed by the buttocks, having men's erections placed on their backs and having their breast fondled. Many of them sharing their stories on Twitter using the hashtag #MosqueToo Reports confirm that even guards participate in the assaults. One 13-year-old girl visiting the Mosque shared her experience.

"As a Muslim adolescent, I was filled with awe and excitement to be in the spiritual center of my faith. I was covered from head to toe, walking with my gaze to the floor, reciting the Quran as I left the Mosque, when I was accosted by a man who grabbed my developing breasts. At first, I shrugged off the assault as an accident—my young mind could not believe that someone would commit a sin so grave in the holiest shrine of my faith. The man must have thought I was an easy target, because the next time we crossed paths, he did it again. As I saw him coming at me for a third time, I yelled Haram! (Arabic for forbidden) before he was able to touch me. I was immediately hushed and chastised by a Saudi policeman for raising my voice in the Sacred Mosque. My aunt realized what had occurred and enfolded me in her arms and ushered me out of the Mosque and shook with fear and anger. This incident, etched into my mind, stripped me of my innocence."13-year-old victim


Sexual Harassment laws by Saudi Arabia appear to have little impact, while religious leaders of Mosque seem to have a no tell policy that serves to protected pedophiles and sexual assault perpetrators. Other women describe the complicity of Saudi guards and policemen in silencing women who report harassment. The situation unfortunately is not isolated. Reports of Islamic preachers accused of sexual assault is growing around the world. BBC News reported on March of 2020, an Islamic preacher named Khandaker Rahman, was sent to trial for the reported rape of a 15-year-old girl who attended his mosque. Prosecutor John Hipkin recounted the incidents, saying: "The girl asked if she could leave early and he agreed if she helped him move some books from the library upstairs. "On the way there he pushed her into a washroom and she fell onto the floor, banging her head. "The next thing she remembers is Rahman on top of her." The court heard the girl fled the mosque with her younger brother and got into her father's car which was parked outside. In, 2011 a Muslim cleric was convicted for rape and sexually assaulted two boys at a mosque in the UK. According to the BBC report and court documents, one of the boys felt that his rapist Mohammed Hanif Khan, was as important as the queen. After coming forward, the young boys was ridiculed and shunned by the Muslim community. One of the boys was often singled out by Khan after evening prayers. The boy told Nottingham Crown Court he was attacked in a classroom at the mosque in 2009. He told the court he had been attending an hour-long evening class at the mosque, as he usually did on weekdays, and that he was attacked by Mr Khan in a private room on 16 October, 2009. The other boy was assaulted when he was an overnight guest at Khan's house, the jury heard. Following the verdict the family of one of Khan's victims said the boy isolated himself from friends and family and even wanted to end his life.


These accounts highlight the absolute failure of Mosques around the world to provide a safe haven for women and children. Muslim leaders have failed to implement reform reporting policies and to this day, it's estimated that hundreds of thousands of women and children are in immediate danger from sexual assault and rape by those who claim to be in a moral compass for their faith. The reality is that all organizations, educational, governmental and the like have reports of child sexual abuse among leading member. However, many of those organizations do have policies in place that protect predators, but mainstream religious organization leaders and their policies put youths at risk after a report has been made or intimidate victims to silence them into submission.


Mainstream church & religious leaders the world over have failed our women and children. Thousands of children have become victims or rape, sexual assault, child marriage, sexual mutilation and human trafficking as a result of church negligence and outright defiance of local and international laws. All of which has been long documented by law entities, journalists, survivors, and former church leaders who were brave enough to speak out against their established religious order.


Can your heart really remain silent after you discovered that what’s considered to be the most holy place for Muslims instead is a protected torture chamber for countless, innocent women and children who only sought to draw close to their God but instead were sexually assaulted, accosted and raped in the process by men who deny their own faith?


Some 30-100,000 million children are sexually assaulted each year. Churches have led the people into a state of chaos and hopelessness through their refusal to protect children under their supposed spiritual care, instead protecting church leaders who continue to victimize women and children without enough interference or correction from government leaders from around the world.


  • Recognize that mainstream religions pose a threat to the sovereignty of every nation under the globe. In addition, they post a threat to humanity and the international interest of peace and security.


  • We call on the UN to immediately close all mainstream churches, temple , shrine and mosque doors of religions who have been found guilty of sexual abuse and human trafficking promotion and facilitation. And those who have shamelessly engaged in theft, public exploitation and money laundering, practices. Those who have instigated,condoned and carried out genocide, terrorism, hate crimes and the like.


Under Article 19, Article 2 under the declaration of human rights adopted by the UN on December of 1948 at the General Assembly in Paris, freedom of religion was guaranteed.However, Article 19, section 3 and the 2011 General Comments No. 34, section 35 gives all governments the freedom to limit the way in which those religions express their faith if they pose a threat to a sovereignty. In this case, mainstream religious organizations that make up the majority in a given country have long been responsible for genocide, mass murder, execution, rape and torture of those belonging to the religious minority. Making their actions not only irrepressible but also a violation of well-established international laws. By promoting the sexual abuse and human trafficking of children and woman, they have defiantly stood against Article 4, that states in no uncertain terms, that no one shell be held in servitude or slavery. By forcing and subjecting children and women to be participants in sex acts, mainstream religious organizations have subjected them to a form of sex slavery by both ignoring the cry's for help by it’s members, protecting pedophiles and sex offenders among their leading ranks and expanding the sex slave ring when sending suspected sex offenders to other churches, temples and mosque after receiving accusations of sexual misconduct. They are also in violation of Article 3 and 5, by robing its own members and the international community of safety and security in, instead, subjecting them to sexual torture and inhuman treatment without regard for their life, liberty or rights. Also, they have defied Article 7 -30, denying lawful protection of the religious minority, subjecting them to genocide, terrorism, hate crimes, all in the name or “religion” and personal objectives of their “holy wars.” Time would fail us if we were to recount every incident in which mainstream religions have violated Article 19 for over 70 years without facing any consequences because the United Nations has not been given the proper authority. We therefore request that all party nations give their full support to the UN for the legal and immediate closure of all churches, temples , shrines and mosques who have willfully violated the Declaration of Human Rights Article 19.


We also demand that the United Nations immediately prohibit religion’s involvement in political affairs, and demand that political entities immediately cut ties with religious entities, including the Vatican, the Russian Orthodox Church and other religious organizations that have used their religious influence to persecute the religious minority. As their political involvement must be eliminated under the “The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” articles adopted by the UN in 1966.


Article 18 states that the Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.


In that mainstream religious organizations who make up the majority of the Sates population, have used their power and influence to persecute, murder, rape and engage in bloody warfare. It is vital for the survival of humanity that those religious organizations have limits to their freedom, specifically, revoking their participation in political matters both locally, nationally and internationally. It is both prudent and vital that political leaders cut ties with mainstream religious organizations, if the world will ever see the dawn of a new day under truly peaceful conditions.