Child Molestation, Sexual Abuse and the Culture of Silence in the Church

Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world is finally having a discourse on the culture of rape and sexual abuse of children in the church. More details here

In Nigeria, pastors are worshiped, the devil is blamed for sexual crimes, reporting rape makes life worse for the raped, families keep secrets of child molestation and most parents don’t teach their children about sex.

Most parents and church members refuse to hold pastors and other church leaders accountable based on a weird assumption that Psalm 105:15 (Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm) applies only to church leaders.

My statements are based on personal experiences and knowledge as one who was born and raised in Nigeria.

In light of the ongoing discourse of rape and child molestation in Nigeria, I am saying these:

Dear church people in Africa, Nigeria, and everywhere, Psalm 105:15 applies to every child of God including your unborn baby. You are God’s anointed, I am God’s anointed and our children are God’s anointed. Don’t be afraid to investigate and pursue justice through the legal system when church leaders are accused of sexual crimes. Don’t stay silent. When you cover the sins and evil deeds of church leaders, you have taken part in their sin.

Dear Christian parents, God holds you accountable for what happens to your children while they are under your care. Be vigilant! There are wolves in sheep’s clothing disguising themselves as men/women of God (Matthew 7:15). Teach your children about sex before someone else does it. Let them know sex isn’t dirty. Teach them proper boundaries and encourage them to tell you if someone is doing something uncomfortable to/with their bodies.

Be open with your children, listen to them and create a relationship that allows them to be vulnerable with you. Doing these things will make it difficult for your children to be molested under your own roof. It will make it more difficult for your children to be sexually abused by a relative or a church leader. Why? molesters prey on trust, shame and fear. Be parents your child(ren) can trust without limits, shame, and fear.

While I wasn’t raped as a child, I was touched inappropriately by my grandfather’s cousin who was supposed to live with us temporarily. I was courageous enough to report the incidence but it was dismissed and I was accused of being vindictive. It’s a long story and I hate to relive those moments.

I pray everyday that my children will not be molested or abused in any way. I also pray that they will not be sexually perverted and immoral. I believe in no sex before marriage, monogamy, and man-woman marriage (Romans 1:20-28). I will stick with the truth and pray the best for my marriage and children.

I pray that those who take pleasure in hurting children will be exposed and face God’s wrath in ways no one can comprehend.

Let’s work together to make our homes and the church a safe place for our children.

Thank you for reading.