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Southern Baptists say denomination faces federal investigation

The SBC’s statement gave few details about the investigation, but indicated it dealt with sexual abuse.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention said Friday that several of the denomination’s major entities are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The SBC’s statement gave few details about the investigation, but indicated it dealt with sexual abuse. The SBC, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., has been plagued by problems related to clergy sex abuse in recent years.

“Individually and collectively each SBC entity is resolved to fully and completely cooperate with the investigation,” the statement said. “While we continue to grieve and lament past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current leaders across the SBC have demonstrated a firm conviction to address those issues of the past and are implementing measures to ensure they are never repeated in the future.”

Earlier this year, an SBC task force released a blistering 288-page report from outside consultant, Guidepost Solutions. The firm’s seven-month independent investigation found disturbing details about how denominational leaders mishandled sex abuse claims and mistreated victims.

There was no immediate comment from the Justice Department about the investigation.

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