Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Baptisms In Prisons Face Hurdles

A recent article in the Christian Chronicle discusses the problems encountered by Christian ministers in accommodating prison inmates who wish to be baptized. Staff prison chaplains often deny the request on security grounds. William Crossman, of the Church of Christ Prison Ministry in Leavenworth, Kan., says: "There are many, many chaplains that do not believe in baptism, and they're not going to go out of their way to see that it’s done." However, as the article chronicles, in a number of institutions, hundreds of inmates have been baptized, sometimes under the threat of litigation if prison officials do not permit it. Often portable baptisteries or inflatable kiddie pools are used for the ceremony.