Reuters, By Matt Siegel, July 27
Sydney – The Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in Australia failed to report to police more than 1,000 cases of child sexual abuse going back more than 60 years, a government investigation into abuse and its aftermath heard on Monday.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which was launched in 2013 amid allegations of serial child abuse inside the Catholic Church in Australia, has a broad mandate to examine religious and secular organizations.
At the opening hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses on Monday, Angus Stewart, senior council assisting the commission, described the church as an insular sect with rules designed to stem the reporting of sexual abuse.
“Evidence will be put before the Royal Commission that of the 1,006 alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse identified by the Jehovah’s Witness Church since 1950, not one was reported by the church to secular authorities,” he said.
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