Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Church Are Using #ChurchToo to Share Their Stories November 29, 2017

Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Church Are Using #ChurchToo to Share Their Stories

You may not immediately recognize his name, but you may have seen his hashtags trending across Twitter. Christopher Stroop, a college professor in Florida, began the #YouDontKnowEvangelicals and #EmptyThePews hashtags, which are designed to call attention to abusive practices that are driving Christians away from church.

Not long after, the hashtag #ChurchToo — purposely similar to the hashtag #MeToo — was created by Hannah Paasch and Emily Joy as a way for survivors of sexual abuse in church settings to share their stories.

Introductory Twitter threads about #ChurchToo from Paasch and Joy can be read here and here.

In a post on that explains the backstory behind the hashtags, Stroop names some of the biggest concerns about evangelicalism on his blog:

I believe that America’s Evangelical problem can only begin to be solved when conservative Evangelicalism’s authoritarian nature is widely exposed. And make no mistake, conservative, mostly white Evangelicals’ illiberalism is a serious national problem, given that 81% of white Evangelicals voted for Trump and against human rights and democratic norms, and that they remain the dangerously demagogic, racist, and widely (rightly) reviled so-called president’s single most supportive demographic. I am convinced that ex-Evangelical voices are key to exposing the authoritarian and abusive nature of conservative Evangelicalism, and so I advocate for the inclusion of ex-Evangelical perspectives in national discussions.

If you search for #YouDontKnowEvangelicals, #EmptyThePews, and #ChurchToo on Twitter, you’ll find a number of heartbreaking stories, as well as calls to action:

And here’s my own contribution:

As the hashtags gain popularity, major news outlets such as Vox, the Washington Post, TIME, and The Guardian have interviewed and given platforms to survivors. Now that the media has picked up these stories, those on the inside of evangelicalism must face a personal reckoning about why abuse continues to occur, and what they should do to preserve their reputation as part of the “Moral Majority.” No longer can sexual abuse be treated as something that only infects “liberal Hollywood.”

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