While each of these books have a major theme of religious abuse, the form of the abuse takes may present in different ways with different protagonists in different religious constructs. In the books I have reviewed, almost all the writers are female victims. That certainly does not mean that women are the biggest victims of religious abuse, or does it? I'm not sure. It would seem that the Patriarchy is set up to be most punitive and harsh with women, children and other marginalized persons. Adherence to a patriarchal belief system appears to be a major marker for both religious persecutors and their victims. The abusers are generally those with some power over the victim: pastors, evangelists, teachers, other zealous "believers," parents, and often, "the religious system" made up of the fundamental beliefs, the hierarchy in place to lead, administer, recruit, and protect the system.
Of the 25 books, the vast majority are about living in an isolated, abusive, cultic Christian family or community of believers. No, I do not believe that all of the denominations represented in these books are "cults", but it seems that fundamentalist, legalistic, patriarchal groups form more readily from out of the larger conservative religious communities when differences of opinion and reformative change is on the table. But still, not all the books describe abuse with smaller cult groups, the results of schisms. Some abuse actually is condoned within the larger Church proper.
The ChurchToo Movement arrived pretty quickly on the heels of the MeToo Movement. In March 2017 on Twitter, Emily Joy Allison 'outed' her abuser who groomed her during her teens. The North American Evangelical Churches were rampant with sexual abuse and assault while presenting as the great purveyors of Purity. Emily Joy-- currently working on a Master's Degree in Theology with a concentration on religion, gender and sexuality at Vanderbilt University--wrote her first book exposing the Purity Movement and unearthing the damaging sexual violence and trauma of Church-related abuse. ChurchTwo: How Purity Culture Upholds Abuse And How To Find Healing.
- Catholic Church sexual abuse cases
- Christina Krüsi
- Forced conversion
- Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment
- List of satanic ritual abuse allegations
- Religious persecution
- Religious trauma syndrome
- Scientology controversies