Why Are We Ignoring Abuse in Orphanages?

An American missionary was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing children at his orphanage in Kenya. This tragic case has garnered significant media attention when the story broke earlier this month, including articles in the Washington Post and the New York Times

As Christians, we read stories like this with horror. It is terrible to imagine vulnerable children being abused by an adult they are supposed to trust and the monster who would exploit children under the guise of a Christian charity. Perhaps for our own comfort and desire to hang on to any sense of hope, we want to believe that this type of situation is an extremely rare and isolated incident.

However, as homage to these precious children who suffered at the hands of this orphanage director, we must not turn a blind eye. We must consider the prevalence of abuse in orphanages around the world and how it affects the way we support orphans and vulnerable children.

First, abuse in orphanages is not rare. While most Americans believe orphanages exist to protect children, studies show that children in residential care facilities such as orphanages and children’s homes experience more abuse than children in the community.

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(c) The Christian Post, used with permission.