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Victims group urges SBC attention


(RNS) — A group that has drawn attention to the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has asked leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention to “make Southern Baptist churches safer.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) wrote a Sept. 26 letter to Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page and other leaders in an effort to “continue a dialogue” about how they can work together to address reports of abuse that may occur in Southern Baptist churches.

The letter requested that the SBC Executive Committee create an independent review board to investigate reports of clergy abuse and set up a procedure to notify congregants if a minister who worked in their church is accused of abuse.

The letter followed a previous letter, to which Page responded in August.

“We fully agree that there should be a heightened scrutiny of all persons involved in ministry to children and youth, and had come to that conclusion long before having been approached by SNAP,” Kenyn Cureton, a spokesman for the Southern Baptists’ executive committee, said in a statement.