The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has urged Christians to be part of the driving change on gender violence across the country.
Ayokunle made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said if Church (Christians) would embark on such assignment the nation would feel equipped and empowered to lead change in the area of gender-based violence.
“One of the keys that will help to bring about changes is faith leaders.
“For a long time, for the desired deep change to become a reality, we need faith leaders to really capture the vision and run with it.
“Faith leaders are really well placed to bring people on board and create an enabling environment for transformation in any society.
“The leadership of CAN is ready and willing to play their part in preventing violence against women,” he said.
He said that a lot of work was needed on violence against women and children across the nation for serious intervention or prosecution of perpetrators.
According to him, “faith leaders can often be overlooked, but when they are included then it makes such a huge difference in turning situations around. It will be a game-changer’’.
“I believe the Church can start conversations in all communities through sermons, Bible studies and by inviting in local experts on family violence.
“They can also ensure their church has best practice policies and procedures in place to make it a safe and supportive environment for those experiencing or who have experienced violence,” he added.
Ayokunle said: “Through consistent and persistent teaching, preaching and prayers, the violence vulture against women will become history.
“The Bible is against violence in any form and the scripture regards women as weaker vessels compared to men.
“There is nowhere in the Bible where violence against women is encouraged. Instead, men are warned against maltreating them if they wanted their prayers to be unhindered.”
He also admonished men to see their wives as part of their own bodies, adding that those who use violence on women are ungodly, wicked, inhuman and societal unfit.
The president of CAN stressed that Christian leaders should lead by example in this regard.
According to him, Gender Based Violence (GBV) is the general term used to capture violence that occurs as a result of the normative role expectations associated with each gender along with the unequal power relationships between the two genders, within the context of a specific society.
“However, women, girls, men and boys can be victims of GBV, the main focus of this resource package is on violence against women and girls,” the cleric said.