No place to call home: Abuse in a Christian community

Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | Mar 28, 2014

A few months ago I was told about a new film that documents the sexual abuse perpetrated upon children at a place called Jesus People USA. At the time, I had never heard of Jesus People USA. So I made contact with Jamie Prater, a former resident of Jesus People USA, who has spent the past years pouring his life into making this eye-opening documentary. After watching No Place to Call Home, I learned that Jesus People USA is a Christian community on the north side of Chicago. It is a place that holds wonderful childhood memories for many of its former members. It is also a place where the bodies and souls of dozens and dozens of precious children were eviscerated through systemic sexual abuse. A place where sexual offenders roamed freely and had easy access to vulnerable little ones, who were often outside the care and supervision of their parents. This was no place to call home.

As I watched this film and listened to the many heartbreaking interviews, I found myself overwhelmed. If we are honest, I wonder how many other Christian environments may be No Place to Call Home for His little ones?

Below is my exclusive interview with Jamie Prater:

Boz: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. What is No Place To Call Home about?

Jamie: No Place To Call Home chronicles the lives of several people born and raised in Jesus People USA Evangelical Covenant Church. The film begins in 2008 when I’m living in Asheville, North Carolina and follows my journey back to Chicago and through my discovery of what would be dozens upon dozens of cases of child sexual abuse.

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