Latter-day Saints announce new training to curb child abuse

In this Thursday, April 18, 2019, photo, shows the Salt Lake Temple, in Salt Lake City. An iconic temple central to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith will close for four years to complete a major renovation, and officials are keeping a careful eye on construction plans after a devastating fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints is launching a new training to curb child abuse in the congregation.

The training announced Friday by church officials requires leaders in the Utah-based faith to complete an online course highlighting strategies to prevent and respond to abuse.

The announcement comes in the wake of protests criticizing how local leaders handle sexual abuse reports, one-on-one meetings with youth and several sexual assault accusations made against a former prominent missionary leader.

Thousands of current and former Latter-day Saints marched to the church’s headquarters in Salt Lake City last year demanding an end to the closed door meetings where sexual questions sometimes arise.

New guidelines allow children to bring an adult with them to the interview and direct lay leaders never to disregard reports of abuse.

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