Leaders from Lynne Hybels to Jen Hatmaker want evangelical churches to take a more proactive position on behalf of victims.
In 2017, many evangelical women joined the #MeToo and #ChurchToo campaigns to draw attention to the prevalence of abuse. Now they’re looking for churches to step up.
A new campaign called #SilenceIsNotSpiritual calls on evangelical congregations and leaders to speak up and act on behalf of victims of gender-based violence, who fear their stories will end up ignored or marginalized.
The campaign—organized by Belinda Bauman, One Million Thumbprints founder, and Lisa Sharon Harper, whose Freedom Road convened the recent Ruby Woo Pilgrimage—launched Wednesday morning with the backing of 140 prominent Christian women, including Lynne Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church, Ann Voskamp, and Jen Hatmaker. Within hours, it gathered 1,000 signatures.
“This moment in history is ours to steward. We are calling churches, particularly those in our stream of the Christian faith [evangelical churches], to end the silence and stop all participation in violence against women,” the statement reads.
“We call our pastors, our elders, and our parishioners who have been silent to speak up and stand up for all who experience abuse. There is no institution with greater capacity to create protected spaces for healing and restoration for survivors, as well as confession, repentance and rehabilitation for perpetrators.”
“Count me in! Because there is no doubt in my mind on this matter that #SilenceIsNotSpiritual!” tweeted Bible teacher Beth Moore (who has shared that she suffered sexual abuse as a child).
Earlier this year, LifeWay Research found that most churches underestimate the impact of domestic violence, and aren’t as prepared as they could be to assist victims. Nearly half of pastors say …
Source: Christianity Today Magazine