The report’s authors estimate that at least 3,500 people have committed sexual abuse and say the figures are just “the tip of the tip of the iceberg.”
At least 1,259 people working for the German Protestant Church have committed sexual abuse in recent decades and at least 2,225 victims have been affected by the abuse, according to an independent report published Thursday.
The findings arise from the examination of documents and documents from the regional churches and the diaconal and social welfare organization of the Diakonie Lutherans.
The report’s authors estimate that the real number of offenders would likely be much higher, with nearly 3,500 people having committed sexual abuse, German news agency dpa reports.
Martin Wazlawik of the University of Hanover, who oversaw the study on sexual violence in the Protestant Church in Germany, described the released data as “the tip of the tip of the iceberg.”
The Protestant Church commissioned the study in 2020, allocating 3.6 million euros for its funding.
The goal was to analyze the internal structures of the Church that contribute to violence and abuse of power.
The EKD, which represents 19.2 million Protestant Christians in Germany through its 20 regional churches, expressed its repentance to the victims during the presentation of the study in Hanover.
Bishop Kirsten Fehrs of Hamburg, head of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD), offered a heartfelt apology to the victims.
“As an institution we have been guilty of countless crimes against countless people,” Fehrs said, adding that she was “deeply shocked” by the overall picture presented by the study.
The revelation follows the Catholic Church in Germany revealing a shocking number of sexual abuse by its clergy in 2018.
A church-commissioned report that year indicated that between 1946 and 2014, at least 3,677 people were abused by Catholic clergy, with more than half of the victims being 13 years old or younger, and nearly a third serving like altar boys. .