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Australian Jehovahs Witnesses protected over a thousand members accused of child abuse, report says
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post

Washington Post, November 28, 2016
Posted: December 12th, 2016

Over the course of about six decades, more than 1,000 members of the Jehovahs Witnesses were accused of sexually abusing Australian children, according to a new report. Victims were ordered to keep quiet. Not one of the alleged perpetrators were reported to the police. Now, a royal commission in Australia has found the church demonstrated a serious failure to protect children from the risk of sexual abuse. A 107-page-long report released Monday detailed a number of ancient policies that exhibited what the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse referred to as a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse. The churchs responses to sexual abuse allegations, and its desire to handle them internally, often mirror those of the Catholic church or of some Orthodox Jewish communities. But unlike the priests of the Catholic Church, the Jehovahs Witnesses have no paid clergy. Alleged perpetrators are mostly regular congregants, who are shielded from official prosecution by the churchs code of moral conduct. The churchs rules, which are based on a strict interpretation of the Bible, call for separation from other members of society. The Jehovahs Witnesses responses to abuse allegations are not limited to Australia. The religions parent organization, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, for 25 years has instructed its elders to keep cases of child sexual abuse secret from law enforcement and members of their own congregations.

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