Fight Against Vi­o­lence Moves To Churches

Fiji Sun - - Nation - FILIPE NAIGULEVU Feed­back: filipe.naigulevu@fi­ SUVA

The fight against gen­der vi­o­lence and child abuse can be in­cul­cated into re­li­gious teach­ings as it has an in­flu­ence over the mind­set of peo­ple. Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion Mere­seini Vu­ni­waqa made the com­ment while wel­com­ing an ini­tia­tive by the Fiji Coun­cil of Churches in ad­vo­cat­ing against gen­der-based vi­o­lence and child abuse. FCC mem­ber churches will to­day mark Break the Silence Sun­day as part of their bid in sup­port­ing the global cam­paign, 16 Days of Ac­tivism, in elim­i­nat­ing vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren.

They will fo­cus their at­ten­tion on the is­sues of gen­der based vi­o­lence and child abuse through li­turgy, prayers, scrip­ture read­ings and ser­mons and recom­mit to be­ing vi­o­lence free com­mu­ni­ties and ad­vo­cates. Ms Vu­ni­waqa said her min­istry could not do it alone and needed a wider ap­proach in ad­vo­cat­ing against the per­tain­ing is­sues of gen­der vi­o­lence and child abuse.

“We at the min­istry by it­self can­not han­dle it alone,” she said. FCC pres­i­dent and Methodist Church in Fiji pres­i­dent Rev­erend Te­vita Bani­vanua said the ini­tia­tive would pro­vide them the op­por­tu­nity to ad­vo­cate on such is­sues from a pul­pit level. “It is im­por­tant that we not only ad­dress the sin of gen­der-based vi­o­lence and child abuse within our church com­mu­nity, but as faith leader were speak with one voice in con­demn­ing it and call­ing for our com­mu­ni­ties and homes to be safe,” he said. Head of the Angli­can Dio­cese of Poly­ne­sia Arch­bishop Rev­erend Dr Win­ston Hala­pua shared sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments and out­lined the im­por­tance of the ini­tia­tive.

“What a priv­i­lege it is to be a part of this ini­tia­tive which is what I call a deeper level of life,” he said. Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika

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