As the world wraps up the 16-days annual Gender Based Violence (GBV) activism, the Anglican Church has once again joined forces in calling on the nation to refrain from any acts of violence, stressing that any violent skirmishes are tantamount to sin, which is against the Lord.
The call was made Sunday December 8 2013 in Blantyre by Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Southern Malawi, His Lordship Dr. James Tengatenga at the St. Paul’s Cathedral, as he bade farewell after serving the Diocese as a Bishop for 15 years. Tengatenga will be leaving for the United States of America later in the month where he has picked up a job.
And in the capital Lilongwe, Malawi’s President Joyce Banda, reiterates her commitment in the fight against GBV by taking part in a solidarity walk from the offices of the Human Rights Commission to the Capital Hill Monday December 9 2013.
Bishop Tengatenga, who two days before the commencement of this year’s campaign led his faithful in a sensitization big walk through the townships of Blantyre spreading GBV messages, in relation to the word of God, challenged believers that they ought not be involved in GBV because that does not go along with Bible teachings.
“It is sad to hear news about violence being occasioned on our women, women killing children, men spoiling children, women turning on their husbands, and all sorts of violence yet we are a God fearing nation.
“This is bad and as a Christian Leader I strongly condemn any form of violence and ask the Church to wake up and vehemently talk against this nasty behaviour which un fortunately seem to be gaining ground in our communities. Let us all stop this gender based violence!
“Although the 16-days of campaign period is coming to an end, that does not mean it is the end of the story, no! As Christians we should remember that violence is sinful and sin is bad in the eyes of the Lord,” the Right Reverend Tengatenga said.
He added: “As such, lets completely stop indulging in any form of violence and live in harmony which is the nature of and pleases our Creator, otherwise we shall perish if we continue being part of violence.”
The official global campaign started on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, the Human Rights Day.
Using its extensive networks and presence which is even in the remotest areas of the country, the Church believes that it has a forum whereby both the Clergy and the Laity can develop and share new and effective strategies that can help to end gender-based violence.
At the march, the outgoing Southern Malawi Diocesan Bishop revealed that the Anglican Church has come out of its cocoon to fully participate in the campaign against gender violence because it has realised that cases of GBV are escalating and without the involvement of the faith community the country would degenerate into a rotten state.
“As a Church we have always condemned violence but during this special occasion we thought it wise to join the world in this cause so that we reach out to many people and not just those that come to pray at a particular day.
“And as a Church, we strongly condemn gender based violence and urge Malawians to refrain from any forms of violence,” Bishop James said during the march.
In Malawi the official campaign was opened in Mzimba where the Minister responsible was in attendance, and throughout the period various people and groups have spread the messages through different mediums and places.
In Mulanje, a Senior Pastor of the Calvary Family Church, condemned property grabbing, saying that is violence, and every person be it traditional leader, family members or employers should make sure that it does not happen in our amidst.
Pastor Hora was speaking at the funeral of former Malawi national football team goalkeeper Kenneth Kandulu, after observing that it has become a tradition that relatives of the deceased rush to pick property without regard to the rule of law.
His sentiments were echoed by a traditional leader who asked the deceased employer to make sure that rules of natural justice are followed in disbursing deceased estate.
“Some employers connive with un deserving people to get benefits that of the deceased at the expense of the rightful persons which we should all condemn as this is part of gender based violence,” the traditional leader advocated for.
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