While I define religious abuse as physical, sexual and human rights abuses that are justified by religious dogma and religious opportunists, spiritual abuse is abuse of the human spirit.
Many people go through life believing that religion and spiritualty are the same. Religion has claimed ownership of the word “faith” as though it is synonymous with dogma. In reality, religion and spiritualty are two completely different experiences. They can, and do, exist without each other. In this awareness we can recognize that spiritual abuse and religious abuse are separate experiences.
I discovered that the fear-based beliefs of my childhood religion were a greater abuse than any physical or sexual abuse I endured. Spiritual abuse affected me in a very deep an profound way that prevented me from finding true happiness.