Update on Christian Academy in Japan Investigation
CHICAGO (June 10, 2020) — In 2019, the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) partnered with other mission organizations to co-sponsor an independent investigation into allegations of abuse against minors at the Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ). The investigation continues despite delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
CAJ is a school for missionary children that is not funded by the Evangelical Covenant Church, nor is it an entity of the ECC. Children of ECC global personnel (missionaries) attended the school during the time period in question. Thus far, the ECC does not know of any cases in which its own global personnel were alleged perpetrators of minors at CAJ.
Last year, investigators working with the independent law firm Telios Law, based in Monument, Colorado, began collecting information in response to allegations of abuse that occurred between the 1960s and the 1980s. To date, Telios reports they have collected information from 95 people, including 60 face-to-face interviews. In addition, background work, screening and intake calls to prospective witnesses, and video calls continue. As investigators entered the final phase of the interview process, shelter-in-place guidelines made it impossible to continue in-person meetings. Any remaining critical in-person interviews will take place once restrictions are lifted. The investigative team is also gathering and reviewing documents and beginning to draft summaries.
“The ECC maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding harassment or abuse,” said Deborah Masten, director of global personnel for the ECC. “Our desire is to be preemptive, increasing awareness and providing tools and resources to help prevent future abuse within our communities of service.”
The mission organizations that the ECC has partnered with for the investigation are Resonate Global Mission, WorldVenture, Christian Academy in Japan, and TEAM.
“I am very grateful for those among the CAJ alumni who gathered up the courage after all these years to share their pain and anger,” said Al Tizon, executive minister of Serve Globally for the ECC. “I want to assure those who are hurting that we have heard you! We lament past hurts that were never acknowledged or worse, covered up, and we commit to advocate for victims.”
To learn more, go to CAJhistoricalinvestigation.info. If you know of any cases of abuse or have further questions, please reach out to the investigative team by calling (719) 203-9591 or through teliosinvestigations.com/contact-us.
For pastoral care and questions for the Covenant, e-mail Al Tizon, executive minister of Serve Globally, at Al.Tizon@covchurch.org.