Saying this will garner you gasps of shock from believers and even a fair number of nonbelievers as well.
Child abuse is the physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect of children by parents, guardians, or others.
So how can religious indoctrination possibly be considered child abuse? How can “teaching kids about Jesus" be as bad as convincing a child he is utterly worthless, or raping a seven year old girl, or beating a four year old boy to death? Religious indoctrination is child abuse because it goes so much further than just "teaching kids about Jesus".
Saying that raising a child to believe in a "Supreme Being" is child abuse is strong, fairly harsh language. The other forms of child abuse are much more immediately devastating. The effects of religious indoctrination are much more subtle but the impact can be as long lasting. The problem lies in the damage that faith based education can do to a developing mind.
Evil Concepts Espoused by Religion:
1- original sin- you are an evil sinner and nothing you can do will change that
2- hell- a place of eternal, everlasting, never-ending misery and torment that is yours by right of birth
3- cannibalism- to avoid hell you must eat the body and drink the blood of your savior: the once dead, now living, human yet divine son of god
4- sex is shameful- do not touch yourself in pleasure, do not touch your opposite-sex-spouse in pleasure unless it is to procreate, then you may enjoy sex briefly, but only the appropriate parts of the body.
5- guilt- you deserve to suffer for eternity because you were born evil and only the death of another can save you so you better behave lest that redemption be taken from you
6- martyrdom- lay down your life for others and for god and earn rewards in heaven
7- self-sacrifice- everyone else is more important than you, give them all that you have, all that you are
8- pride is a sin- you are worthless, all that you are comes from god, without him you are nothing
10- infallibility of god and by extension his appointed here on earth- god never makes mistakes, you are not morally superior to god, you cannot judge him sinful for his actions in the old testament, if something bad happens in spite of prayer to the contrary, it is all part of his plan and we cannot know what that plan is. Pastors, priests, ministers, cardinals, bishops, the pope, etc… are gods anointed and appointed here in on earth. They have a direct connection to god that you don’t have.
11- thought crime- someone is always watching you: judging your every thought, word and deed for which you will be held accountable.
THAT is what is meant when an atheist says, "Religious indoctrination of children is child abuse." Religious indoctrination abuses a young and developing mind, warping and twisting it at its most vulnerable, and setting up mental habits that can take a lifetime to overcome.
As Thump said, “The whole idea of religious indoctrination is abuse, to stifle logic and reason cannot, in my mind, be considered anything else.”