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The subtlety of spiritual abuse

Beyond high-profile headlines, subtle forms of spiritual abuse can cause great harm. There is hope, writes June Asquith, as the Church embraces change

The subtlety of spiritual abuse ISTOCK

As society grapples sexual abuse allegations in the wake of Operation Yewtree (the UK police investigation), the Christian Church worldwide deals with allegations that have implicated some of its spiritual leaders. But abuse is not only sexual. This article is not about those much-publicised cases but about more subtle forms of spiritual abuse that seek to deny people’s faith. “Haven’t you got enough faith to believe God can do this?” This is often a question put to people in a place of vulnerability. They may have a sick family member or be ill themselves, have become unemployed or face opposition. “If you only had enough faith ...you would be made well.”

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