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Bringing attention to exploited obedience, spiritual abuse in religious communities

By Joyce Meyer

There has been much written recently about rising incidents of abuse and violence against women, including an important meeting of the U.N. Commission on Women. Through conversations about this, I also learned of another kind of abuse: spiritual/religious abuse. Although the term was new to me, the stories from women who have experienced it are not new. It was — and is — experienced in the context of obedience to church leaders, church teachings and projected images of women that tend to shame them.

So, what is it? Spiritual/religious abuse is a dynamic of power and control where Scripture, religious prescriptions and/or spiritual language is used by someone in a position of authority or perceived authority, to manipulate others into specific behaviors or attitudes. The topic is getting more attention, including two webinars being sponsored by the Union of the European Conferences of Major Superiors. CONTINUE READING


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