Investigation will include Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Buddhist organisations
'Child sexual abuse in a wide range of religious organisations and settings, including Jehovah’s Witnesses and Buddhists, is to be scrutinised in an official inquiry.
The investigation by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) will review child protection and policies in organisations belonging to nonconformist Christian denominations, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Hinduism.
The investigation will also cover religious settings such as mosques, synagogues, churches and temples. Places where children are taught about faith, such as Muslim madrasas and Christian Sunday schools, will be investigated, along with faith-based youth groups and camps.
The investigation is separate from the inquiry’s ongoing examinations of child protection and abuse in the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.
More than one in 10 survivors of child sexual abuse who contacted the inquiry’s truth project reported sexual abuse in a religious institution. Of those, almost a quarter said they had been abused in religious organisations included in the latest investigation.
Last year, several people contacted the Guardian with allegations of child sexual abuse and other mistreatment in Jehovah’s Witness communities in the UK.
They described a culture of cover-ups and lies, with senior members of the organisation, known as elders, discouraging victims from coming forward for fear of bringing “reproach on Jehovah” and being exiled from the congregation and their families.
The Charity Commission is also conducting an investigation into child protection issues in the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, the UK’s main Jehovah’s Witness organisation, which the commission regulates.'
Read more: Child sexual abuse inquiry to be held into religious organisations