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Russell Moore meeting with former President Obama in the oval office in 2014. Photo: YURI GRIPAS/AFP via Getty Images

A letter obtained by the Washington Post outlines new allegations that Southern Baptist Convention leaders mishandled sexual abuse claims.

The state of play: The letter, written by Russell Moore, former head of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, claims that institutional leaders bullied a sexual abuse victim.

  • Moore specifically names people in the SBC's Executive Committee who he says intimidated any person who spoke out about abuses in the church.
  • He also details how some institutional leaders exonerated churches with credible allegations of negligence of sexual abuse victims, which he says put the lives of "vulnerable children and others" affiliated with the church at risk.

The big picture: The SBC, the country's largest evangelical Christian denomination, is facing debates "over issues such as sex abuse, racism and the role of women, as well as significant Southern Baptist support for former president Donald Trump," the Post writes.

These controversies have caused several people to leave the church.

Between the lines: The letter is dated May 31, just days after Moore announced he would resign from his position in the convention. At the time, Moore revealed he was leaving to join magazine Christianity Today.

What they're saying: "You and I both heard, in closed door meetings, sexual abuse survivors spoken of in terms of ‘Potiphar’s wife’ and other spurious biblical analogies," Moore writes in the letter, directed at J.D. Greer, SBC president.

  • "The conversations in these closed door meetings were far worse than anything Southern Baptists knew — or the outside world could report."
  • "...[T]his comes on the heels of a track-record of the Executive Committee staff and others referring to victims as 'crazy' and, at least in one case, as worse than the sexual predators themselves."
  • Of note: "In the ancient biblical story, Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph and falsely accuses him of having assaulted her," the Post writes.

Go deeper

Report on sex abuse in schools roils Mexico

A classroom in Mexico City, where most of the schools facing allegations are. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images.

There's been a pattern of institutional sexual abuse against children as young as 3 years old in schools in central and southeast Mexico, according to a report written by lawyers of a civic group who have litigated cases against education employees.

Why it matters: The allegations have surfaced days before public and private schools in most Mexican states are set to return to in-person classes.

UN warns of "catastrophic" climate change failure without more emissions cuts

UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a news conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.