Arthur Allen and two of his followers from the “House of Prayer” have a deadline to meet today. They must appear in an Atlanta court at 1:00 PM or warrants will be issued for their arrest, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Allen and a married couple from his church were convicted of criminal “child cruelty,” due to the beatings children endured within the controversial Georgia group. They received jail time and probation.

Conditions of that probation include attending anger management classes and signing a written agreement not strike children with objects.

The parents refused to sign the document. Now they must come to court and comply or their probation will be violated.

In recent years there has been a crackdown on religious groups that abuse children.

Children were removed from a group in Canada called “The Church of God Restoration,” as a result of beatings. Parents from a branch of that church in California were arrested for medical neglect.

Dwight York, the leader of another group in Georgia named the “Nuwaubians,” was arrested and prosecuted for more than 200 counts of sexually abusing minor children in his group. York signed a plea agreement and is now serving a prison sentence.

Polygamist groups in Canada and the United States are being scrutinized for their treatment of children and some of their members have also been prosecuted for abuse.

Increasingly in North America authorities seem to be determining a boundary between legitimate religious practice and criminal child abuse.


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