Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Child abuse allegations for religious groups

Child abuse allegations for religious groups
Monday, 09 March 2009 15:16 RC News
A television documentary has reportedly uncovered cases of child abuse in two religious groups
Two religious groups have been reported to the police for abusing children, after an investigative journalism documentary was televised on Sunday evening by public broadcaster DR.
Several child and teen members of the groups Father House and Evangelist said on the programme that they had regularly experienced physical beatings and forms of mental torture that included the driving out of demons.
Social Democrat Lars Rasmussen, a city council member, reported the two religious groups to the police on Monday.
It is the second time that Father House has been reported to the police for alleged child abuse. Police were forced to drop a similar case in November due to a lack of evidence.
According to DR, children’s rights advocacy group Børns Vilkår has been aware of some of the accusations against the organisations for some time, but it has been unable to intervene due to the groups’ closed-door policies.
Evangelist refuted the charges through a written statement to the station.
‘We have never been charged with these violations before. We are astonished over the criticism. There are a lot of families that come to us with difficult problems and we often help to get children from wrecked families re-established so they can again function normally,’ read the statement.
Evangelist’s founder, Christian Hedegaard, has indicated he plans to sue DR over the programme and its allegations.

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