Central to the political and financial corruption scandal in Italy, investigated in the period 1992-94, was the previously dominant Christian Democrat Party that had traditionally been intimately associated with the Catholic Church to the degree that voters were specifically advised to support it at election time by priests and bishops. The effort by the Pope in 1993 to defend the role of the Christian Democrats was therefore considered suspect, especially given the questionable role of the Vatican's own banking institutions in several scandals. In 1994 it was alleged that in Iran, in an increasingly corrupt society, individual mullahs had themselves become greedy and untrustworthy. In Japan, as part of the political and financial scandals of the 1992-94 period, the Nichiren Shoshu, the largest religious group, was alleged by its lay affiliates to be implicated in a series of scandals and a pattern of corruption. In the USA several fundamentalist preachers were implicated in scandals, notably in campaigns to defraud their constituencies. Members of the Catholic priesthood were implicated in child abuse scandals.