Christian Evangelical Child Abuse is on the Rise
Rev. John Raymond (Slidell Police).

In May, a Louisiana Republican official who also served as a pastor stepped down from his position as a headmaster at a Christian school after being arrested for a second time after physically abusing a 4-year-old child.

In a release, the Slidell Police Department said that after Rev. John Raymond's initial arrest, several witnesses came forward to report additional incidents going back several years. One involved a 4-year-old boy.

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"Due to the boy crying and screaming, Raymond allegedly placed his hand over the boy’s nose and mouth (preventing him from breathing) to the point of him going 'limp.' A staff member told Raymond to stop, and then observed the boy 'out of it and lethargic,' and 'unable to stand,'" the release said.

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Another incident involving faith leaders abusing a child made press reports just a day later. Leaders at a church in San Jose were involved in a "ceremony" that resulted in asphyxiating a three-year-old child after attempting to “liberate her of her evil spirits.” They called what happened “the will of God.”

"Arely Naomi Proctor’s death by asphyxiation has been ruled a homicide by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s office," The Mercury News reported. "Her mother, Claudia Hernandez, who authorities say withheld food from the girl and squeezed her neck during the exorcism, has been arrested and charged with assault on a child resulting in death. But neither Huezo nor the victim’s uncle, both of whom allegedly held the girl down as the ceremony continued, have been charged in the incident at the church on the 1000 block of South Second Street in San Jose."

The Louisiana and California incidents comes on the heels of a June report summarizing an investigation into sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist convention, a collection of churches with roughly 15 million members. At their annual convention in 2021, churches voted to conduct a probe of sexual abuse within the church.

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The report, by Guidepost Solutions, was only commissioned to study the cover-up from the years 2000 on," noted Vox. "It found incidents of sexual abuse and warnings of the same going back to the 1960s. In all, Guidepost found accusations leveled against people at all levels: church volunteers, staff, and leadership, including those at the top of the church’s ladder. Those accusations were made by people of different ages and genders, and they include allegations of child sexual abuse, the grooming of adolescents, and the sexual assault of adults."

"A major investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, published in 2019, first brought many of the accusations against church leadership to light," Vox added. "The publication of that report galvanized a grassroots drive by individual Southern Baptist churches to hire a firm to conduct an investigation."

The Louisiana pastor who was arrested reportedly dragged the 4-year-old across the floor by his ankles.

"Raymond allegedly held the boy upside down by his ankles and repeatedly 'whipped him on the buttocks,'" police said.

"Raymond, 60, was arrested last month on three counts of cruelty to juveniles after he put packaging tape over the mouths of three 13-year-old students to punish them for excessive talking," NOLA.com added.