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Go and Do Likewise: The Church’s Role in Caring for Crime Victims

Trulear, Harold Dean
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) In God and the victim: Theological reflections on evil, victimization, justice, and forgiveness, ed. Lisa Barnes Lampman and Michelle D. Shattuck, 70-88. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; and Neighbors Who Care: Washington, D.C.

With pastoral and academic experience as clergy and seminary teacher, Harold Dean Trulear emphasizes the Church’s need to provide holistic witness amid the realities of crime, including the needs of victims. Reflecting on Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10, Trulear addresses three key elements of ministry with crime victims: attitude; action; and monitoring. With respect to attitude, love for the neighbor is an essential aspect of living in God’s Kingdom. In terms of action, the Samaritan’s encounter with the crime victim led to action – meeting the immediate needs of the victim. Immediate action by the Samaritan led him to seek continued assistance for the victim’s long-term needs, and the Samaritan committed himself to monitor this aid by promising to return to check on the victim’s state at a later date. Trulear exhorts the Church to embody these three elements of ministry with victims of crime.


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