Stop Gender Based Violence in churches

Stany
Posted December 6, 2015 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

Letter to Pastors

It is with much sadness that I address this letter to you regarding gender based violence’s culture and practices within the churches.

I was born in a Christian family where the Christianity constitutes our culture and influences everyone and everything within my community. For example during harvesting period before you can eat the first harvest you must take a portion of it to pastor for blessing and thanksgiving to God.

Everything like wearing bracelets and earrings were banned by Christianity, traditional songs, poetry and many other culture based practices were also banned. Even to sale gold and other minerals was also sin. In my community if you don’t go to church at least Sunday you are considered as a pagan and thus every member of the community must belong to a Christian denomination. However, one thing remains; << women's marginalization>> and continue to be worse.

For girl, no man will marry her if she doesn’t belong to the church and be a chorister. When a non married girl is pregnant (young mother) she is quickly suspended from attending the church services and therefore considered for a sinner until she give birth and be publically ask for forgiveness. Accidently if she dies before giving birth she goes to hell according to pastors. Unfortunately the man who made her pregnant remains unknown and no one is interested with him.

In our churches, women and girls seat in their own side and men and boys seat and in most cases the front places are for men and all pastors are men, the highest ranking woman in the most of churches is deaconess.

Dear Pastors, today I was really chocked to hear the children choir’s song full of violence against women words. The song says that “It’s sad to see a man wearing nice suit coming to church with sin”…” It’s sad to see a woman wearing super wax (expensive women’s cloth) coming to church with witchcraft”. This song shows well that the church consider women to be witches and even their own children sing that.

We can have a long list about gender based violence within our churches, but dear Pastors, Bishops, Reverends it’s time to end inequality within your churches, even the bible confirms that all people are equal in front of God; why can’t you follow the bible?

You should know that my community abandoned all their traditional practices and converted to Christianity, therefore, teach them how to be equal as bible said. You must avoid using words in your preaching that increase gender based violence such as calling women the witches or giving bad examples using girl’s wearing style.

Voices Against Gender-Based Violence

Comments 4

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Hideko Nagashima
Dec 07, 2015
Dec 07, 2015

Dear Stany,

I think the best solution is to withdraw from the church, and make sincere prayer that you find the real source. Even 2000 years ago churches' hypocracy was predicted in the bible (Matthew 23), if you are familiar with these things.  I had similar encounters in Nigeria where preachers were forcing people to donate, but fortunately such practice is condemned in the bible itself.  So what I used to do is to bring the book itself in front of the preachers and tell them what they are doing is wrong.  They may in turn condemn you because absolutely nothing is written in the bible there to back them up.  Please be true to yourself, and you will be given amazing insights from the above.

Hideko N.  www.swacin.com

Rahmana Karuna
Dec 07, 2015
Dec 07, 2015

Thank you Stany Sad this is the way it is. So much ego and ignorance of the truth. In the USA, the church is second to home for sexual assault of women and girls. The national methodist womens committee has taken it on and publishes a trifold on sexual misconduct plus more.

Stany
Dec 09, 2015
Dec 09, 2015

Dear Hideko N,

If possible we could withdraw from the churches, but as i mentioned, christianity has became the culture for my community, when you are not a member of the church you are nothing in the community. We need to change the community mindset from inside the churches regarding Gender Based Violance.

Thank you

Tamarack Verrall
Dec 27, 2015
Dec 27, 2015

Dear Stany,

I was so encouraged to read your letter to Pastors, as it takes courage to talk honestly about the injustices within churches, and when women's voices are not respected, your voice as a man can have some effect. No matter what resistance and bad treatment you may experience from speaking out, I wish you the courage to continue. Your messages are clear, and describe a strangle hold on custom for your community which deserves exposure and the chance to change. By stating the exact facts, from the unfairness of expectation of portion of harvest, to the use of such strong wording for women who are considered out of line, your words expose these practises for what they are: unfair and controlling. In so many parts of the world and throughout history, women have been accused of being witches. It creates illogical fear of women's capabilities. I congratulate you on standing in support of change with all women.

Best wishes,

Tam