Spiritual abuse is when coercion, exploitation, or intimidation happens around faith-based, religious, or personal beliefs. No matter what religion we practice or what our denomination is, spiritual abuse can happen to any of us. How can we tell if someone is abusing us spiritually?
The suggestion that people in power are “divine” or should be worshiped often sets the stage for abuse. This power can be used to coerce followers or those who are struggling with their spiritual identities.
Using scriptures or beliefs to coerce individuals to donate money, attend religious services, volunteer time, have sex, or perform any activity or action without consent is a sign of spiritual abuse. Scriptures and beliefs can also be used to embarrass and shame.
Beliefs, scripture, or other religious elements should never be used to justify sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. Spiritual abuse also happens when the same religious context is used to keep victims quiet, ostracize supporters of victims, or punish victims for coming forward.
Spiritual abuse isn’t an easy topic to discuss, and sometimes the behaviors can be hard to define. No matter what, however, anyone or anything within a spiritual context that humiliates, coerces, or forces you to do things against your will is wrong!
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