Friday, November 17, 2017

Former Church Members Question Settlement of Suit Against Child Protection Officials

Former members of the North Carolina-based World of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) will ask the North Carolina attorney general to seek review a settlement agreement reached 12 years ago in a suit against the Rutherford County Department of Social Services by 12 members of WOFF. The plaintiffs claimed they were being targeted by Social Services because of their religion. AP now reports:
An ongoing Associated Press investigation has exposed years of abuse in the evangelical sect, with dozens of former members saying congregants are regularly beaten, punched and choked in an effort to "purify" sinners.
... [T]he state had opposed the agreement between Word of Faith and the county social services agency because it contains stipulations that limit such investigative tactics as what can trigger an abuse inquiry and how social workers can question minors....
Several former members have told the AP that [child protection director] Carroll’s department has either cited the settlement in refusing to act on child abuse allegations or given Word of Faith members advance notice of investigations.