The Christian Preacher Crime Spree Isn’t Unique To The USA
For half a year now, I’ve been writing the details of a crime spree by Christian religious leaders in America. Priests, reverends, preachers, ministers, pastors, and church elders are being caught and prosecuted for crimes of horrible abuse against members of their churches. Much of the crime is sexual assault against children, but there’s also murder, embezzlement, drug dealing, fraud, and assault going on in America’s churches.
The details of each individual case are being reported on, mostly in local media, but the larger story of the prevalence of criminal activity by Christian preachers is only rarely addressed in corporate journalism. It’s an uncomfortable subject that most Americans don’t want to deal with.
One of our readers is attempting to diminish the problem by asking why we don’t write about the crime spree by American lawyers, or by American atheists. The thing is, there isn’t any evidence of a crime spree by lawyers or atheists. The problem really is one that’s particular to Christian religious leaders.
It’s just Monday morning, but already this week, there is news of several new Christian religious leaders caught in criminal activity. David Paul Carson, pastor of the In My Father’s House Church in Tampa, Florida, has been arrested for raping a 14 year-old girl.
Alfredo Pedraza Arias, priest at the Sacred Heart Church in Aurora, Illinois, has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two girls.
Douglas Rivera, the pastor of God’s Gypsy Church in Los Angeles, California was recorded on camera peering in through a hotel room at a 10 year-old and 12 year-old girl while masturbating in a parking lot. Rivera then broke into the hotel room and sexually assaulted one of the girls.
David Cooper, pastor of the Mountain Movers Ministries in Eloise, Florida was turned in by his wife after he took off his clothes in front of a girl under the age of 12 on multiple occasions over the space of a year. He was subsequently found to have sexually assaulted another girl between the ages of 10 and 12. Police believe that there are yet more victims of the Christian pastor.Kerry McLean of the Perpetual Hope Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, a preacher of the Christian prosperity gospel, has taken half a million dollars and disappeared.
Stephen Carl Allwine, deacon and elder at the United Church of God in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, has been found guilty of murdering his wife after paying several thousand dollars in Bitcoin in an attempt to hire a hitman to kill his wife.
It’s not just in the United States that Christian religious leaders are being regularly caught in criminal acts. In Australia, Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has declared that when priests have sex with children, it’s “a spiritual encounter with God through the priest”, and says he will go to prison rather than tell the police which of the priests under his authority are raping children.
The scandal of rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests worldwide is now well known. What’s less well known is that Protestant Christian churches have similar problems.