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Bleeding for Jesus

Author Andrew Graystone
Publisher DLT £12.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781913657123

To say this book is ‘disturbing’ is a gross understatement. It is a devastating analysis of the abuse by the late John Smyth, barrister and evangelist, who mercilessly caned the young men he was supposedly mentoring. He totally distorted the Christian gospel to persuade them that they needed to atone for sin through immense physical pain. His many victims were drawn from conservative evangelical ‘camps’ that attracted boys and young men from elite public schools, representing a traditional brand of ‘muscular’ Christianity. If Smyth’s crimes were horrific, so was the establishment cover-up. Graystone, a campaigning journalist, convincingly demonstrates that many senior Church of England clergymen knew all the details of Smyth’s illegal behaviour by 1982. They encouraged him to relocate to southern Africa, where the abuse continued. Further evidence emerged around 2013, but the Anglican establishment procrastinated again, and Smyth’s many victims have been largely ignored. Although this is a difficult book to read, it is theologically wise and represents an invaluable resource for safeguarding training.




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