Anglican churches are being urged to baptize women who converted to Christianity or are members of the opposite sex after an incident in which a woman was allegedly abused.
In a statement, the church said it was working with local authorities and the Australian Federal Police to ensure that there was “no place for abuse in the church”.
The statement said it had spoken to the woman and was “deeply concerned” about the matter.
The statement added that “the Church is committed to helping women to be safe in their faith and the workplace and we will be taking appropriate action in response to the incident”.
It said it would continue to “provide support to any women who feel they have been abused”.
The Church of Australia (COA) has faced a number of allegations over the years.
The church’s governing body is a Roman Catholic denomination, but the COA has faced criticism from conservatives who say it has become too political in recent years.
A report published in December by the National Audit Office found the COBRA had been “effectively dismantled” following the 2011 election, with only “a small minority of church leaders still in charge”.
The report also said there were “significant concerns” about church governance.
The COA says it is committed “to the full and fair sharing of the gospel with all people in Australia”.’
A lot of work’ COA chair, Stephen Smith, said that while there was not “a lot of evidence that shows the COBs are in a position of authority” there was a lot of “work to be done”.
“I don’t think that there’s a lot [of] people on the outside looking in,” he said.
We have a responsibility to help people and the COs need to get that support.” “
I think it’s a very important issue for people to have a real say in terms of their religious identity and not have to conform to what is the norm for their church.”
We have a responsibility to help people and the COs need to get that support.
“If we do not do that then we are going to have to say that we have not made it safe for women in our church.”‘”
We need to make sure we are getting the message out there, that there is a church that is a safe place for women and men to live and to be a member of it, not a place where we expect that women will be sexually abused,” he told Al Jazeera.
“If we do not do that then we are going to have to say that we have not made it safe for women in our church.”‘
I’m not surprised’ COB members are still being targeted in Australia Source: Al Jazeera article According to a report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 40% of COBAs member churches have experienced sexual harassment in the last 12 months, including a 15% rise in incidents reported since the start of the year.
Many have also experienced bullying.
The report said the number of COBs with a member who has been sexually abused has doubled from 684 to 1,040 since 2011.
In the past 12 months the report also found there had been a rise in reports of physical and emotional abuse of church members.
In June, the COFSA reported a 17% rise on the year in church members being sexually harassed and abused, with church-related staff at churches reporting a further 28% increase.