Breaking into my blog vacation with a sad, important story I want to give wider circulation. (Regular readers here will recall that I’ve posted about this before.) Journalist Jean Friedman-Rudovsky has been following the trial of the Mennonite men in Manitoba Colony in Bolivia allegedly responsible for the rapes of as many as 130 women and girls; she filed the following report for TIME: “The Mennonite Rapes: In Bolivia, a Trial Tears Apart a Religious Community.”
I read this story earlier today on a Facebook post. Makes me sick to my stomach.Who can help those victims? And how could such crimes take place among people who have been taught the words of Jesus all their lives? The article hints of the rot that can happen in closed, patriarchal societies. Do you find the explanation credible?
That’s how it makes me feel too. Sources much closer to the situation than I am confirm that there’s rot indeed. Jean Friedman-Rudovsky hints at the reasons and I find the explanation credible, though Jack Hoeppner’s essay (carried earlier at this site) is able to be more comprehensive. Also gives some ideas for what to do. For starters, in reference to this particular situation, I think we must allow the exposure to happen and to widen it among NA Mennonites. And to claim it as also “ours” — I confess that this isn’t easy; one feels horror but also embarrassment and wishes to distance oneself. — Should we urge a carefully selected group visit to discern the situation and act, perhaps under MWC auspices?