When religion, church, God-talk, or spirituality is included as an aspect of abuse it becomes even more damaging. It’s bad enough that your body and soul are hurt in the process; it’s even worse when your spirit is abused and assaulted at the same time.
The numbers of people affected by domestic violence, sexual abuse, or physical abuse is high. And there’s a better than one-in-four chance that one of them is you.
Although there are few good studies, by the raw numbers domestic violence and child abuse is not much different among Christians than among non-Christians. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Sadly, a Bible on the table or attending church doesn’t prevent the violence that too often happens behind closed doors.
When the abuser uses spiritual jargon to justify the abuse it adds a further dimension to the healing that is needed. The abuser may be a priest, minister, or leader in the church while becoming violent at home. The offender may use Bible verses to justify the abuse. Scripture, church, prayer, and thoughts about God become all mixed in with the emotions and pain of the abuse.
When religion is a component of abuse or violence, it creates extra challenges for healing: