Church suspends 60-year-old pastor accused of abusing own children
A 60-year-old pastor from Ouddorp suspected of abusing his children has been temporarily suspended by the Restored Reformed Church. According to the national church board, he has been temporarily barred from all activities related to his ministry, De Stentor reported.
The pastor and his 58-year-old wife are suspected of abusing their children regularly over the past 29 years, according to prosecutors. The couple has eight children, with whom they lived in Arnemuiden, Elspeet, and Nieuwe-Tonge in the meantime. During that time, the children were allegedly exposed to violence in various ways. Among other things, they are said to have been beaten with a vacuum cleaner stick and a frying pan. Furthermore, one of the sons reported that his head was held underwater for long periods of time.
In 2021, six of the eight children, who are now between 20 and 34 years old, decided to report their parents after finding out that their youngest sister had been abused, De Stentor reported. Not wanting the pattern to repeat itself, they filed charges. “This has to stop once and for all, they said," the children's spokesperson stated. The trial of the parents will take place in the summer of 2023.
The church board spokesperson called the decision "drastic, but the decision was not made without reason." The pastor won't comment on the regional board of supervisors' decision.
Despite all this, the church board does not want to make a final judgment yet, as long as the criminal case against the pastor is not yet completed. However, the pulpit remains taboo for the preacher on Sunday, the newspaper wrote.