More churches are checking the national sex offender registry. Is it helping?

Southern Baptist Convention 2019

Members of the Southern Baptist Convention and guests lift their hands in prayer during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention at the BJCC in Birmingham, Ala. on June 11, 2019. RNS Photo by Butch Dill

Source: Religion News Service

By Yonat Shimron

(RNS) — Since they were first offered  an opportunity to pool their resources and buy background checks on volunteers and employees at a discount 11 years ago, about a third of Southern Baptist churches have signed up for the OneSource program from LifeWay Christian Resources. 

Earlier this year, LifeWay reported that 16,000 congregations and other church organizations ran background checks on men and women it hired through a service called backgroundchecks.com. (The Southern Baptist Convention has so far resisted calls to set up a database of its own, saying the national registry was more dependable.)

Other denominations are also increasingly using searchable databases on prospective employees as the #churchtoo movement begins to shift church attitudes toward sexual abuse and prevention.

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Categories: Church, Sexual Abuse

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