As of June, 2016, there are at least 214 graves of minor children and stillborn children in Peaceful Valley Cemetery (there are some child-sized graves that remain unmarked), one of several cemeteries used by the Followers of Christ, which opposes medical care. Below are photos of 100 of their graves.
We focus your attention on the deaths from 1972 on, because we believe that many of these deaths would not have occurred had parents or church elders had a legal duty to seek medical care in time. Or in the case of stillborns, if mothers had received pre-natal care. Surely, cases can be found when medical care would not have saved a child, although just as surely, such care could have alleviated much suffering. And surely, had parents known that religious belief was no legal defense against medical-neglect child abuse, many would have obeyed the law and gotten the medical care in spite of their beliefs.
As the U.S. Supreme Court as ruled: “Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not follow they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children…” The grave markers pictured below bear silent witness, however, that many children have become just that – martyrs.
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