Yesterday, NBC’s “Today Show” aired a piece that interviewed five women who grew up on mission fields around the world. They were molested in boarding schools by missionaries that were supposed to be taking care of them. When the girls told people, the missions organization, then called New Tribes Missions, tried to cover it up.
You can watch the report, here.
The report focuses in on 5 victims, there are more though. And it talks about two child molestors, and there are more of them too. This is just the tip of an iceberg, in an ocean that’s full of icebergs. Do we really think this was the only missions group that had this happen under their authority?
One thing that stands out to me is how New Tribes Missions tried to cover up what was happening. “You’re going to ruin this man’s ministry” is not something to tell people who want to know why their daughter was molested. When a missionary sexually abuses a child, can we all agree that it is the missionary who ruined their ministry? Not the victim, nor the victim’s family, or anybody who reported the crime– it is the one who committed the evil that should face consequences. In the vast majority of cases, such predators should go through the court system, to prison.
If you know of sexual abuse, or any other heinous crime, you should report it. God has given us the government to protect the innocent. Government is not perfect, but it is better than allowing Child Molesters access to defenseless children. Allowing child molesters access to defenseless children is exactly what New Tribes Missions did, and it is what we do when we do not report cases of sexual abuse.