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Fiji Time: 7:48 PM on Friday 19 September

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Churches examine biblical text to curb gender-based violence

Dawn Gibson
Wednesday, February 06, 2013

WITH the theme Re-examining Biblical Interpretations, the workshop on eliminating gender-based violence continued yesterday.

The week-long workshop has the overall theme of Act Justly: Stop Gender-based Violence and hopes to get church leaders involved in putting an end to violence based on gender.

The workshop is being hosted by the Pacific Council of Churches (PCC) and God's Pacific People and Weavers at the Pacific Theological College in Suva.

PCC's ecumenical animator for women and workshop co-ordinator, Akanisi Tarabe, said churches were becoming more involved in these issues.

"Some people are saying that churches are silent, but that's not true. All along they have been concerned. It's important to use the Bible as a tool for these teachings by re-looking at biblical references and using them to highlight this issue," Ms Tarabe said.

"We looked at re-examining biblical text and taking holistic approaches to this issue."

Speaking at the workshop yesterday was the general secretary for PCC, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, who said the world today needed to re-evaluate its morals and realise that men and women are equal.

"There is no distinction between man and woman before God. They received from him the same privileges, same blessing, same task, same power.

"The increase in gender-based violence and injustice perpetrated to women, girls and children today are indicators that our society, our world, is sick and in need of healing," Mr Pihaatae said. Also speaking at the workshop was Reverend Dr Cliff Bird, who spoke on the need for texts in the Bible to be re-evaluated and re-interpreted.

"Passages have been so misinterpreted so many times. What we see in these teachings is the concern and compassion of God toward people who live in contexts of injustices, violence and abuse."


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