The Ashley Madison leak is about to hit America’s clergy hard, with reports that up to 400 church leaders will be resigning in the next week after being implicated in the hack of the infidelity-promoting site.
The full list of Ashley Madison users hit the web last week, exposing millions of men who had signed up for the dating site, which promoted cheating on their spouses. The leak has already hit a number of well-known individuals, and Christianity Today editor Ed Stetzer believes the next wave will come from church officials who had signed up for the dating service.
Stetzer, who has written about the leak in the Christian magazine, said he expects about 400 church leaders to resign this Sunday.
“Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church—and it should be. To be honest, the number of pastors and church leaders on Ashley Madison is much lower than the number of those looking to have an affair. Yet, there is still much that we must consider in the midst of the embarrassment.”
The individuals caught up in the Ashley Madison leak have found little room to hide. A number of websites have hosted information so that people can search the Ashley Madison database by name or email.
Even more than one week after the leak hit the internet, Google is still being flooded with searches for people looking to find out if a significant other was included on the list.
The hacked database also shows that the site was made up almost entirely of men along with an army of faked profiles making the men think they were talking to an actual woman.
From DNAIndia, “Only 1,492 of the women in the database had ever checked their messages on the site. That’s compared with more than 20 million men. Only 2,409 of the women had ever used the site’s chat function, versus more than 11 million men. Only 9,700 women had ever responded to a message from another person on the site, versus almost 6 million men.”
If the prediction is true that 400 clergy members will resign after being implicated in the Ashley Madison leak, they would not be alone. The hacked database has already been striking religious communities hard, and Southern Baptist leaders have even taken efforts to counsel families on how to proceed after being caught up in the controversy, the Baptist Press noted.
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