FAITH NEWS SERVICE – JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Evangelical Council on Abuse Prevention (ECAP) seeks to bring awareness to the issue among churches, ministries, and Christian organizations across the evangelical landscape.
Especially noteworthy for churches is Blue Sunday, which takes place on April 25. Blue Sunday is a day of prayer for victims of child abuse, and a day for ministries to commit themselves to preventing abuse and creating safe environments for the vulnerable.
“As someone who survived child abuse in the church, I’m grateful to pastors and church leaders who take initiative against this evil,” said Jennifer Greenberg, author of Not Forsaken: A Story of Life After Abuse. “Abuse perpetrated in the family of God not only ruins lives, it costs souls. It damages how we perceive corporate worship and even our relationship with Jesus Christ. Prevention cannot be over-prioritized, and how we respond when we encounter abuse has consequences in eternity.”
The statistics surrounding child abuse are startling, and yet all too many Christians remain unaware of how pervasive the problem of abuse is. Part of ECAP’s vision is to help churches, schools, and ministries understand the complex topic, and help them know how to work for the protection of children and the prevention of abuse in their context.
“While we grieve the necessity of raising awareness over such an issue, we are glad to do all we can in the effort,” said Jeff Dalrymple, Executive Director of ECAP. “It’s our prayer that Christians will embrace the occasions of National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Blue Sunday to evaluate what they can do to protect and work for the flourishing of the children in their midst.”
Those interested in improving their standard of protection for children can find a variety resources at ecap.net. Those visiting the ECAP website will also find information about the ECAP 2021 abuse prevention national conference, “Prevention and Redemption,” taking place in Nashville.
Resources for Blue Sunday and National Child Abuse Prevention Month can be found at ecap.net/bluesunday.