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Confront Rape Issues, Religious Leaders Urged

Fijian church leaders and religious workers have been urged to toughen up in the fight against rape and abuse. Reverend Vilitati Ratotodro, while speaking at the Assemblies of God Conference’s
22 Aug 2015 14:02
Confront Rape Issues, Religious Leaders Urged
OP: Youths during the Assemblies of God (AOG) conference at the Evangel Temple in Labasa yesterday. Photo: Peni Drauna

Fijian church leaders and religious workers have been urged to toughen up in the fight against rape and abuse.

Reverend Vilitati Ratotodro, while speaking at the Assemblies of God Conference’s Youth Programme at Evangel Temple, Naodamu, Labasa, yesterday, claimed the pulpit has not been utilised to help reduce rape crimes in Fiji.

He said religious leaders should preach against rape and be more direct and confrontational on the issue.

“It is about time pastors in churches confront head-on the truth from the pulpit,” Rev Ratotodro said.

“Many times we tend to ignore the truth because we want to refrain from tarnishing our relationships with people, forgetting the mere fact that we are not helping to curb this growing problem.”

He said the increase in rape crimes depicted the presence of darkness because there was an absence of the knowledge of the Word of God, which church leaders should foster.

“A person who is filled with the Word of God cannot be a perpetrator of such crimes. That is why it is only proper for church leaders to confront the truth because it is the truth that will set people free.”

He said religious devotion and living a spiritual life could contribute to the reduction in rape.

“I believe the problem is a spiritual one. Many times we focus on the outside and what we can do to improve our wellbeing and to develop ourselves instead of concentrating on improving our inside which is our character,” he said.

The rapid increase in rape cases in the North was also discussed.

Guest speaker and lawyer Kelepi Ratule said: “Youths were among the accused or the victims and it is something that really needs to be addressed. The trend in the North depicts a sad reflection of our society.”

Feedback: peni.drauna@fijisun.com.fj

 

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