The individuals were contacted following a years-long effort by a group called PoP Survivors, who have called for the South Bend-based sect to be investigated for leaders’ handling of sexual abuse allegations. The body, which has 54 members, has alleged that abuse claims were routinely mishandled or covered up for decades in order to protect the close-knit faith group. Individuals spoke to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity and said they believed the FBI interviews were part of an initial inquiry. A spokesperson for PoP Survivors said: “We urge the FBI to use their power to unearth the long-standing pattern of child sexual abuse and coverup in the People of Praise. It said members had experienced sexual abuse from non-family members of their household, from their parents, and teachers.