Oregon’s Spiritual Crisis
The state of Oregon has the second highest rate of registered sex offenders per capita in the nation, only behind Delaware. Oregon has 496 offenders per 100,000 people.
There is more to the story. The state is two years behind entering names into its electronic database of registered sex offenders, listing only 2.5% of the total offenders. The reasons for the low percentage include:
- Lack of registered offenders. Registration is based on the honor system. Sex offenders simply don’t register.
- Liberal laws. It will cost the state an estimated $3.5 to $5 million to meet federal reporting standards.
- Lack of trained staff. The sex offender registration unit has lost most the majority of its staff because of retirement and moves. The newly hired staff needs to be trained, which is a time-consuming and costly process.
Portland, Oregon’s largest city, is especially attractive to sex offenders from other states because it offers a large number of social services. This is disturbing news for a city that has the largest commercial sex industry in the nation, according to a study by Willamette Law School. Portland also has more strip clubs per capita than Las Vegas, as indicated by the Ultimate Strip Club List.
Is it a coincidence that Oregon consistently ranks as the state with the largest percentage of unchurched people and Portland is the least Christian city in the U.S.?
The problem with these statistics cannot be blamed on local police or state government. Oregon faces a spiritual dilemma. People need a deep, abiding relationship with Jesus. We have an evangelism crisis, and it’s time to reverse the trend.