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#ChurchToo: Twitter Users recount tales of Sexual Harassment & Abuse in Churches

BellaNaija.com

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While it’s true that the church should be a place of refuge (and of course it is), where peace and solace should be found, another reality is that sometimes that’s not the case.

Sometimes, in our churches, we come face to face with the devil himself, cloaked as an angel.

Following the #MeToo campaign, where women shared experiences of sexual harassment and buse they’ve suffered, #ChurchToo is the new trend.

People everywhere are discussing different instances of abuse they’ve either suffered at the hands of people in church or were buried by them.

See the tweets below:

While this is no formal research report, we can’t deny the fact that the stories above are not alien to the church. It’s a clarion call to church leadership to put appropriate measures towards annihilating sexual harassment and assault. Church management should:

  • Teach about sexual assault and harassment (getting professionals to do so).
  • Make sure sexual (or any kind of) assault and harassment reports are handled with utmost importance.
  • Listen to victims and complaints.
  • Make the church a place of comfort and succour.

34 Comments

  1. Reptilian

    November 22, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    There are sex offenders everywhere you look these days, My neighbour’s son who is only 15 years of age was raped by a female teacher.

  2. Loki

    November 22, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I am a Christian but even I will tell you that Church can basically be a branch of hell on earth and many pastors and spiritual leaders deserve a close-range shot in the head. When I was 15, I tried to form my own religion cos I was tired of Church, Christianity and all the hypocrisy and drama. I even wrote a spiritual text to guide adherents of my new religion. Nobody joined…maybe because it resembled satanism a little too much. I don’t know…I was 15 afterall.
    Now I realise that there is a difference between Christianity and “Christians”. Everyone can call themselves a Christian; doesn’t mean they actually practice Christianity. If you’ve been hurt by the Church, don’t lose faith in Christ.God is a good Father…He just has so many messed up kids.
    But please tell me if you would like to join my religion…I’ve remixed it somewhat.

    • Dollz

      November 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      This made me laugh out loud!! ? are you for real? Please tell us more about your new religion..i hope the remix is considerably less satanic.

      I agree that the Christians in the church are less than perfect and can be the biggest hypocrites. If they were perfect they wouldn’t need church. However, church or not, all offenders should be fully prosecuted for rape/assault/peadophilia etc. I can forgive you after you’ve served your time/punishment. After all if someone steals from the church coffers I’m pretty sure they’ll be charged with a crime and not just forgiven because it happened in church.

      Overall, my approach is to focus on God’s word and not man’s interpretation of it. The bad behavior of other Christians can not prevent me from believing in God, my belief in God is based on my personal relationship with him.

    • John

      November 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      @loki I even wrote a spiritual text to guide adherents of my new religion……. I would love to read your spiritual text ..even though I already have a feeling to what it entails

      @church been demonized .. I love people like you who read between the lines..it reminds me of those liberals( clinton, hollywood and co) who accuse trump of making crude remarks about women..they don’t really give a damn about those women,they just want to use the incident to score a political point..their own skeleton are been opened right now….give me a break…I see all this as a trojan horse..thats all

    • Mamamia

      November 22, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      I see a love brewing between Loki and John… hmmmm. Just, keep the Bella team updated on the date! Lol

    • John

      November 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      @mamamia Your plan won’t work….You want her to stab me to death?

    • Loki

      November 22, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      @John- I’m right now imagining your warm blood between my fingers…yum!

    • John

      November 22, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      I’m right now imagining your warm bloodbetween my fingers…yum!………….that “Yum” part.. weirdo alert… Now I understand why people think your ministry resembled satanism a little too much.

    • Jide

      November 22, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      An elder in church grabbed my boobs. Because the GO’s wife is the elder’s sister, the whole thing backfired on me and I was asked to apologize to the elder for making up such horrible lie that he grabbed my boobs. Since then, it’s been hard to take any church seriously

    • Fleur

      November 23, 2017 at 4:48 am

      hmmm. Bella does have ’em.

    • Loki

      November 23, 2017 at 8:05 am

      @Jide, this may not mean much, but I would like to apologise on behalf of the church…Not all of us are responding to the saving power of Christ.

    • Loki

      November 23, 2017 at 8:07 am

      @John- That was just hurtful. I worked hard on my religion.
      There is no excuse my friend, breaking my heart again. This is where our journey ends, for breaking my heart again…

  3. Tosin

    November 22, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I was living with my uncle and his wife. It was Sept 30, 1997…..the first time he touched me inappropriately. That day the shock of it gave me a fever and couldn’t talk the whole day. He joined everyone to ask if I was okay. It continued till I was 17 when I had to leave their house. He was notable man in St. Anthony’s Catholic Surulere and at the time he was CEO of a major bank in Nigeria. This man led us in prayer religiously morning and night everyday! He lived his life in such a way that no one will believe me if I told them what he did to me. I no longer live in Nigeria…..I only told very few people after I left.

    • Loki

      November 22, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      I am very sorry this happened to you. Nobody deserves to go through stuff like that.

  4. Tosin

    November 22, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I was 12 the first time.

    • Mrs chidukane

      November 22, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Sorry about that. Devil.

    • PH Boy

      November 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Will never understand what drives these deranged people. It’s definitely beyond psychiatric.
      Dated someone who had been a victim and the flashbacks literally ruined the relationship. I know how she really tried to overcome it but she was still so damaged; even after 15 years of the last incident. I saw enough to almost break me too.
      This is a serious problem and the fastest way to recovery is to find closure; you need to take your life back and refuse to let it consume you.
      I pray God helps you to heal properly. That demon will get his full payback for sure; karma is real.

    • COMMENTER

      November 22, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Sorry this happened to you and what was supposed to be a safe place became unsafe. Please do take care of yourself emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. We believe you Tosin. You did NOT deserve that and it was NOT your fault. You are stronger than you know.

  5. zzzzzzzzzzz

    November 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    People of the world, you want to drag the church into this too

    • church been demonized

      November 22, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Dont mind them

      There are good and evil people everywhere, including inside the church, mosque and all (well we make the church…all of us not the chairs alone)

      All these people now, check their lifestyle aside this church incident, the devil will even fear them. They have so demonize the church to the extent that you will think they dont do worse things outside the church or the church made them do the worst things on earth.

      Yes, plenty evil people (you and i ) inside the church but you never see them talk about what they do at the bar, in the club, where they get drugs, what goes down in their parties….

      You know deep down within you, you all are looking for excuses not to go to the church anymore and not to serve God. You are looking for excuses not to pay tithes any longer…what will your excuse be on the judgement day? That one pastor made you stop serving God? when He has told you in the bible to test all Spirits (acknowledging the fact that there are evil spirits in sheep’s clothing)

      The love of and for God has so reduced in this generation to the barest minimum. Little wonder Christ said will He find faith on earth when He returns? I doubt it. This generation has turned everything upside down.

      Oh pastors have girlfriends, is it not fellow ladies that are sleeping with them?
      Oh Pastors are chopping your tithes—pay your own and leave them to God. There is a record in
      heaven for that
      Oh Pastors are this and that–are you called to serve Pastors or God?

      Strive to save your own soul not any Pastors soul

    • AngryAnon

      November 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      This is why people get molested heavily in our churches. Instead of us to be vigilant, we want to start talking. YES DRAG THE CHURCH IN…shine a light on this madness and protect our children from lecherous religious heads and the fake doctrine. Judgement will start in His house and it is so filthy right now.

    • Prime Babe

      November 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      It is people like you who make sure people who suffer abuse never speak up, the cause of so much misery…..but I will still be polite to you and say: “yes, it does happen in the church”

    • COMMENTER

      November 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Really? There is evil everywhere indeed. Including the church so let us acknowledge the presence of evil there when it is brought to our attention instead of having such a dismissive attitude that only serves to allow such behavior perpetuate. There is sexual abuse in the church too! Acknowledge it, prevent it, solve issues and pacify the wounded!

      @church been demonized…. Refer to the statement above. You are looking at this from such a defensive perspective. Listen, these are women who suffered abuse and were re-victimized when they spoke! All the extra that you added is not necessary. Yes we all sinners and as much as the church is supposed to be a 100% safe place, it is not 100% safe because we live in a fallen world and we are sinners. They didn’t ask to be abused. Even if they were drunk at a bar, wearing underwear, they still did NOT deserve what happened and should NOT be shamed for coming out to speak. Shaming is what adds to a church wound and allows it fester. We are called to love people and also correct what is wrong in the church body and not cover it up.

      No, they are not looking for an excuse not to go church. Who will beat them if they don’t go?You? Going to church is a choice and God gave each of us free will. Even God does not force people to worship him, he ask that we worship out of genuine love for him. And as for all your talk about tithing and what not, that is NOT related to the issue of sexual abuse where a person is caused physical harm. Stop trying to use unrelated topics to justify sexual abuse!

  6. Moi

    November 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Reading Tosin’s comments just makes me realize how ‘lucky’ was growing up. I say lucky because like you see in a typical Nigerian family, we had loads of uncles who lived with us right from when we were kids (which would have been a recipe for abuse), but there was no instance of abuse, they lived their own lives and we were kids watching cartoons all the time and I still keep in touch with all of them today. However, I am not sure I would be open to accommodating relatives in my own home with what I read online..

    • wifematerial

      November 23, 2017 at 12:35 am

      uhmm!!!!!!!!!! this brought about a bad memory back in the 80s my best friend was impregnated by her cousin who was living with them as that time…….though the pregnancy was aborted with the help of my friend sister, what if she had died in the process? what if???????? I have had a share of my own bad experiences from people you thought oh they can harm/molest me but thrust me they are number one. we should be vigilant with our kids around family, friends trust no one. TRUST NO ONE!!!!!!!!!! People are really crazy this days. May God help us all. Women have really suffered and still suffering but the trendy this days is the male trust so prevalence now lets us all be vigilant.

  7. Me

    November 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Pastors and priests (esp catholic priests) should also help themselves by not seeing members of the opposite sex or anyone at all (for people with homosexual tendencies) without a chaperone.

    Even these priests and pastors are human beings… They are sinners too….if they know they have such tendencies they should help themselves by always having a chaperone around.

    As a woman, you can never see an Opus dei priest one on one without a chaperone. If whatever you want discussed is so private ..the it must be done in a confessional where a wall separates the two parties involved.

    All these things are making people lose faith in Christianity. As said in the Bible, woe betide anyone that causes anybody to lose faith in God.

    • Fleur

      November 23, 2017 at 5:01 am

      I was 17 and attending confirmation classes @ a major anglican church in pH. The young priest was to meet with each of us the weekend before the final event. I went to his office where he was meeting people. He told me we could be very close friends with a sinistersmile on h is ugly face. As a new Uniport bae wey oversabi I told him he did not need friends my age. Never have I been so glad to be exposed. Back then sugar daddies used to bother us and we learned how to put them @ bay. putting a prest in his place was not even a cause for heartburn. After that day, he’d stare @me each time I wentto the altar for Communion. I believe that we should educate our Kids about pedophilia. This will give them the courage they need to say NO! I talked to my son and daughters about this from the time they joined sports teams. Coaches are notorious for molesting Kids.

  8. John

    November 22, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    @loki I even wrote a spiritual text to guide adherents of my new religion……. I would love to read your spiritual text ..even though I already have a feeling to what it entails

    @church been demonized .. I love people like you who read between the lines..it reminds me of those liberals( clinton, hollywood and co) who accuse trump of making crude remarks about women..they don’t really give a damn about those women,they just want to use the incident to score a political point..their own skeleton are been opened right now….give me a break…I see all this as a trojan horse..thats all…..anyway, I still believe religion and politics should be separated..and churches should start paying taxes..disolve the power and stronghold they have on people.. the pope or bishop or pastor should be arrested and made to face the law if he is found guilty without any qualms.

  9. anon

    November 22, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    The church is within you. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. you fellowship through the life you live every single day not just on sundays. There is no attack on ”the church”as such, but on the fake physical representation of religion on earth and yes it is corrupt so dont be surprised to learn of the depravity that goes on in man made structures. Were there is a group there will always be a demon. look at the 12 apostles. If you need a person to tell you to love your neighbour as yourself then you are inherently evil and no amount of sunday presentation will remove that evil from you. what was the name of the church christ attended again?

    • mami

      November 22, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      one million likes for this comment…..this is all people need to know

    • John

      November 22, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Now that is dope comment?

  10. Berlusconi

    November 23, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I feel your pain and trauma, I too i was raped at the age of 13 by our house help.

  11. Dr.N

    November 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

    People need to remember the church is like a hospital. Some patients are responding to treatment, some are allergic to medication, some are even infectious. Some have discharged themselves against medical advice and gone around wounding others while some threw their drugs out of the window and Lied that it doesnt work. I can go on and on
    We even have people who come to the hospital to beat up the doctors and nurses for not doing things the way they want it even if the patient is getting better
    I have had a patient beat up a nurse because he didn’t want to pay his bills.
    Do you know why tender infants are not allowed into most hospitals? Their immune system is still immature. Yet some parents will sneak them in.
    My point is we need to be on guard even in church; protect the weak and defend the defenceless.
    May God vindicate all those who have been forced to cover up wrongs done to them. May he deliver them and restore them

    • Chu

      November 23, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Can I love this a million times?

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