FL- Evangelical mission staffer arrested
An overseas missionary from the Sanford FL-based New Tribes Mission (NTM) has been arrested on child porn and child sex abuse charges. Now, it’s crucial that NTM uses its vast resources to reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes.
Given NTM’s disturbing track record on children’s safety, church officials must take aggressive steps to help law enforcement convict Warren Scott Kennell.
If they do little or nothing, it will be clear that little or nothing in this troubling organization is changing.
NTM claims 3,300 “missionaries” across the globe, making it the second largest Christian missionary organization in the world. (http://www.ntm.org/)
In the 1980s and 1990s, at a Christian boarding school in Senegal, “child abuse was widespread and routine” and “much of this behavior was criminal.” These are among the stunning conclusions found in a hard-hitting, 68 page investigative report about NTM released 2.5 years ago.
The report, prompted by increasing complaints from victims, was compiled over the course of a year by a five-person team. It identifies, by name, 20 wrongdoers, both those who committed and/or ignored and concealed abuse. The document contains multiple recommendations for action, including the creation of a “perpetual” $1 million fund for victims. It also urges that 8eight “negligent” staff be forced to donate 10% of their salary to the fund and that 17 staff be “terminated from membership.” (At least one offender still works for NTM now in its Florida headquarters.)
A copy of the report is available on a website run by victims: http://fandaeagles.com/2010/08/grace-final-report-on-ntm-fanda/ OR at http://www.bishop-accountability.org/reports/2010_08_28_GRACE_Fanda_Report.pdf
The disclosures are similar to ones that erupted in the 1990s involving abuse at an evangelical boarding school in West Africa called the Mamou Academy which was run by a Colorado Springs-based group called the Christian and Missionary Alliance. A 2009 documentary film called “All God’s Children” brought renewed attention to the scandal.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.