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'19 Kids and Counting' Josh Duggar's Cousin Amy Addresses Molestation Charges; Urges Christians 'Never Stop Praying'

( [email protected] ) May 29, 2015 05:50 PM EDT
"Cousin" Amy Duggar, niece of "19 Kids and Counting" stars Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, revealed she is praying for Josh Duggar and his family following reports that he molested five underage girls when he was a teenager.
Josh Duggar's cousin, Amy Duggar, has urged Christians to "never stop praying" in light of the recent scandal surrounding her extended family. (Photo: People Magazine)

"Cousin" Amy Duggar, niece of "19 Kids and Counting" stars Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, revealed she is praying for Josh Duggar and his family following reports that he molested five underage girls when he was a teenager.

Amy, who often appeared in episodes of "19 Kids and Counting" alongside her extended family, indirectly addressed the molestation scandal on social media, posting a simple message: "Never stop praying."

Related: Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar to Break Silence on Molestation Scandal in Upcoming Interview  

"No matter what happens in life our prayers are heard. Pray for your enemies. Pray for people who judge you and mistreat you. Pray for God's will in every aspect of your life," she captioned an image of the words "Never stop praying" on Instagram Thursday.

Police reports alleging that Josh molested five underage girls when he was a young teen were first brought to light in a report by InTouch on May 19. After the news broke, Josh, now 27, resigned from his position with the Family Research Council, a Christian Conservative lobbying organization founded by Pastor James Dobson in 1981. Meanwhile, numerous advertisers removed their support from the show, and both Hulu and TLC quietly pulled episodes of "19 Kids" for an indefinite period of time.

"Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of '19 Kids and Counting' currently from the air," TLC network officials told the Daily News. "We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time."

In a lengthy post on Facebook on May 21, Michelle and Jim Bob called the scandal "one of the most difficult times of our lives". Josh also released a statement in which he admitted to acting "inexcusably."

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably, for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," Duggar wrote on Facebook on May 21. "I confessed this to my parents, who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling."

While many have criticized Duggar for his actions--including Conservative presidential hopeful Rick Santorum--others have voiced their support for the embattled family.

In a recent Facebook post, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee defended the Duggar family's "authenticity and humility" despite the scandal.

"Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable,'" Huckabee,  who is currently serving as governor of Arkansas, noted. "He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities...No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things."

Jessa Duggar's father-in-law, Michael Seewald, also created a blog post praising the family's decision to keep the situation private and urging Christians to extend grace and forgiveness. "They owed it to no one else to publicize the sins of a minor child and the court agrees with that assessment, the judge now ordering that the police report be destroyed," he wrote on May 24. "I want to say that the Seewald family stands with the Duggar family in solidarity. We stand with the unnamed victims of these incidents. Our thoughts and prayers are for you."