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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Bullying At The Church

by Sally
(United Kingdom)

I was a newcomer to my local church and everything was fine to start with. I had only been going to church for a short while, having been invited to go along by a friend.

We had a female vicar who I was friendly with, she was so nice but sadly she left recently and we were replaced by a new vicar and his wife, both evangelists.

It wasn't long before things started to go wrong for me. The new vicar was rude with me in front of my friend. He seemed to do his best to not speak to me. In fact he seemed to want to avoid me, but I could see him watching me out of the corner of my eye when he thinks I wasn't noticing.

Then the other week I learned (through the grapevine) that my name had had a 'cross' put against it on the Church Roll, along with two other people. I never saw the Roll for myself, but I wondered who would make such a thing up anyway if it was not true!

Despite that, I attended one of the evangelical services, having been talked into it by one of the group, and I went along. Again I felt this sense I was being ignored. At the end of the service, as I was chatting with someone over a tea, the vicar approached and walked past me and planted himself next to us two, with his back firmly to mine and 'seemed' to want to talk to a group of people.

I decided at that point I would be careful what I said to this woman I was with, as I wondered if I was being listened to. He was close enough to pick up on anything we might say.

The vicar and his wife has still not come around to see me, although I had heard they were visiting their new flock.

In the vicar's first sermon, he told us he had been abused and bullied as a young boy by one of his teachers, or I am wondering if he just made that up in order to get sympathy from the congregation; in the end I just don't know what to think.

I have left the church, having grown wise to how bullies operate and I don't intend to let this happen to me again.

My friend is disappointed and seemed suspicious when I spoke to her, but I have not told anyone about what has happened. I don't think it will get me anywhere; my experience has taught me that it won't in the end.

Comments for Bullying At The Church

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Bullied at church
by: Anonymous

I have been a member of my church for about 15 years. There is a woman that seems to want to torment me. She is very rude to me and talks about me behind my back. We are a very small church. She hurts my feelings with things she says to and about me. My husband is the pastor, so I don't want to involve him. She is making me miserable. I know I need to pray about the situation and I do. She has been a member much longer than me and had already secured her place in the church before I joined. She does a lot for the church and it is appreciated. I am considering a new church but it would be awkward for my husband. I feel abused. I have never to my knowledge done anything to her to make her feel this way about me.

You are not going crazy, this is real bullying
by: Anonymous

I am also at a church and realize I am getting bullied by a new pastor. The pastor who has been there for years has a wife who is ill, so he found his college friend (the mean pastor) who has started performing side services at the church. I have not joined the church yet, I only went with friends and stayed a year. My family went, but only felt lukewarm about it, so I just go alone for now.

This woman used to stare at me, openly call me her "enemy" although I never did a thing to her. She would get others to laugh at anything I said and I soon realized she was trying to discredit me. I stopped going regularly, and the senior pastors are actually quite nice and wondered where I have been.

I am physically repulsed by this woman, and she stands on the pulpit and says things like, "you have to love your enemies, offer them the other cheek if they slap you" and other misquoted Bible verses. She even once said, "I am very competitive" as part of her sermon, what does this have to do with the sermon?

I realize that she took all of my joy away and now I just can't keep going there. I decided I will go sometimes, because many women and men were nice to me, but the official rumor is that the one pastor who is her friend is actually retiring this year, so they are going to probably keep the mean pastor. I did not go for a few weeks, so that the congregation can see that she only talks about "enemies this and that" and that she can't stare me down if I am not there. I am hoping they will start wondering why she keeps talking like this.

She is always trying to approach me, I have been running away. Which is I am sure being seen as a sign of weakness. Now, I will stand up to her, it is the right thing to do. I will say to her "Is this about your low-self esteem, because I can't help you with that, it is your own personal journey," if she gets near to me. I have tried to think of what to say to shut her up, that is the only thing I can think of.

Sadly, I have already decided to leave. You can't fight evil, especially when you are good. Sometimes, you just have to get peace and leave again. I am sorry for what happened to you, as it is currently also happening to me. I am filling up my Sundays with different plans, and I feel better already. I hope you can heal from your bullying, I am healing as well. Take care. God loves you.

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