Southern Baptists meet amid controversy over leaked letters


FILE – In this Wednesday, June 12, 2019 file photo, Bill Golden, and thousands of others, hold up copies of a training handbook related to sexual abuse within Southern Baptist churches during a speech by SBC President J. D. Greear on the second day of the SBC’s annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala. As Southern Baptists prepare for their biggest annual meeting in more than a quarter-century in June 2021, accusations that leaders have shielded churches from claims of sexual abuse and simmering tensions around race threaten to once again mire the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in a conflict that can look more political than theological. ( Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Controversies over the handling of sex abuse cases and critical race theory are likely to dominate the Southern Baptists’ annual meeting, set to begin Tuesday.

It comes amid an uproar over leaked letters from former top public policy official Russell Moore. He claims other leaders tried to slow-walk efforts to address sexual abuse and intimidate those who pushed for change. He also says he was the victim of “constant threats from white nationalists” for his racial reconciliation work.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and has been a powerful force in conservative politics for a generation. More than 16,000 delegates are expected at the meeting.

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