There is a sad state of affairs for children in many parts of the world. It is hard to believe that this could still be the case in 2009, but sadly it is.
Last Sunday, I read an article in my local paper which talked about children being denounced as witches and being beaten or killed because of it. This is happening in some so-called evangelical Christian churches in Nigeria. The article was heartbreaking. How can people be so cruel to defenseless children?
The Catholic Church has been complicit in another type of exploitation – sexual abuse of altar boys by priests. It took a long time to get the accusations out into the open. The Church did everything possible to avoid being found out – including transferring known offenders to other parishes where the priests could molest more young boys and making settlements with the families of the victims which included non-disclosure. This “scandal” has cost the Church millions of dollars and has tarnished the Church’s reputation worldwide (and deservedly so!!).
In many countries, children are forced into labor to help support their families. In other countries, children are forced into military service. When will this exploitation of the world’s young people stop?
Here in the US, our government talks about being for human rights and about spreading democracy around the globe. I would suggest that saving and protecting the world’s children should be one of our highest priorities. They are the most at risk and the least able to protect themselves.