Yesterday, during an interview with Ed Stourton on BBC Radio Four’s Sunday programme, I mentioned a video produced by church leaders in Fiji (listen here, from 12’22”).
The ecumenical campaign saw Anglican, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Salvation Army, Methodist, evangelical and other church leaders deliver a very clear and unambiguous message: “violence against women and children is a sin”.
The minute-long video was shown before movies in cinemas and on national television as part of the international 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. And is a powerful example of what church leaders can do when they act and speak together.
My hope is that church leaders in other parts of the world will act in a similar way. Too many perpetrators of gender-based violence believe that faith gives them an excuse to behave in the way they do. Women and children in the Church are not immune from violence.
Perpetrators need to hear very clearly that faith js not a justification for violence; and victims need to know that they will be supported in, and by, the Church.