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Positive Role of Religion and Religious Communities in Child Protection

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 38 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2014 Pages: 562-566
Marcia J. Bunge
Date Published
April 2014
5 pages
This is the introduction to six articles in this issue that identify some of the foundational values underlying the protection and nurture of children in selected world religions, and that highlight the benefits of secular organizations and religious communities cooperating to address children's needs.
The first four articles identify and discuss core values regarding children in four major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. The article on Judaism notes its tradition of general care for those in need and specific concern for orphans, parental duties, limits on what parents may expect from their children, and limits on parental prerogatives in disciplining children, and children as a blessing. The article on Christianity focuses on its view that children are in particular need of protection, nurture, and guidance because of their vulnerability, inexperience, receptivity, and inexperience. The article on Buddhism notes that early Buddhist texts attest to the many ways that senior monks and nuns care for the children who have been entrusted to them. This tradition is confirmed in the many ways that modern senior monastics parent the children for whom they are responsible. The article on Islam's attention to the welfare of children notes that Islamic texts command affection, care, and education for children; however, it also notes how attitudes toward children vary across and within the cultures of nations where Islam is the dominant religion. Islam protects children by emphasizing various duties of parents to provide food and clothing for their children, as well as proper medical care and guidance. The last two of the six articles address the significance of cooperation among religious and secular agencies in ensuring the protection and nurture of children. 10 references