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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Jehovah's Witnesses: child abuse policy
Quiz our panel about the Jehovah's Witnesses' policy on child abuse, in a live forum on Monday at 14:00 BST
The Jehovah's Witnesses are accused of having a "child protection policy" that protects paedophiles.

Panorama reporter Betsan Powys, Kostadinka Grossmith, Counselling Manager of Childline London and south east service, and Bill Bowen, the former Jehovah's Witness elder who appeared on the BBC One programme, answered your questions.

To watch a recording of the forum select the link below:

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When child abuse is suspected within a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, "elders" in the church have a "child protection policy" to follow.

This involves reporting the matter to the church's own legal desk - but not necessarily to the police.

The organisation's strict biblical interpretation means not only that the matter often remains a secret within the organisation, but also that victims can be sent back home to the abusive relationship which they have complained of.

A former elder, Bill Bowen, has spoken out to Panorama about these policies. He's now leading a campaign to change the church's attitude to child abuse within its ranks.

And we speak to victims caught up in this controversy from around the world.

Suffer The Little Children


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