November 27, 2009

Church study guide confronts violence against women

by David Masters

A study guide to help church congregations confront violence against women will be released during Lent next year.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) announced the Lenten study guide this week to coincide with the International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women on 25 November.

Resources in the study guide will include films and stories from women in Colombia, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and New Zealand. Bible studies and liturgy will also be included.

The resources have been designed to help Christians “reflect on ways that healing may come from honestly dealing with the sin”, and to give them compassion towards victims and perpetrators of violence.

Dr Fulata Mbano Moyo, WCC programme executive for Women in Church and Society, said the stories included with the resources are “shocking”.

“But what also shines through is the resilience of these women,” she said.

“Against incredible odds, communities are finding ways to build solidarity and act compassionately.”

Dr Mbano Moyo said the resources are designed to help churches speak out in condemnation of violence against women.

“By calling violence against women by its real name – sin – and challenging the silence which has traditionally surrounded this issue, especially within the church, we are inviting people around the globe to work towards healing and wholeness, in their own lives and in the wider world.”

The resources, named “Cries of Anguish, Stories of Hope”, will be available from 17 February 2010 on the WCC website.

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