Home Christian News The US Department of Justice Is Investigating the SBC. What Does It...

The US Department of Justice Is Investigating the SBC. What Does It Mean?

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims. The grand jury report says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. The people seated onstage were some of those affected by the clergy abuse. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

When federal investigators target churches or religious figures, McChesney said, other issues, such as fraud or discrimination, have normally been involved.

In 2016, the Department of Justice won religious discrimination convictions against local government officials in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, who had ties to the FLDS. Those leaders were accused of discriminating against non-FLDS residents. A year later, FLDS church leader Lyle Jeffs was convicted after a federal indictment for food stamp fraud.

McChesney said investigating church leaders for a cover-up is more challenging than investigating specific crimes.

“You have to be able to prove that there was some intent to protect an abuser,” she said. “Is there proof somewhere that they were trying to hide or protect an abuser?”

RELATED: Southern Baptist leaders mistreated abuse survivors for decades, report says

This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.