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Stakeholders deplore subtle gender-based violence in worship centres

By Cornelius Essen, Abuja
26 September 2022   |   3:03 am
Experts have decried the subtle way ministers of the gospel deploy scriptures to perpetuate gender-based violence, saying their activities expose women as second-class citizens in church.

Experts have decried the subtle way ministers of the gospel deploy scriptures to perpetuate gender-based violence, saying their activities expose women as second-class citizens in church.

They argued that man and woman are equal before God, as such, both should function as evangelists, teachers and pastors in charge of districts.

At a workshop organised by Christian Women Excellent Empowerment of Nigeria, in Abuja, Niri Goyit of Women’s Rights International, accused churches of discriminating against females, urging total gender equality.

“Human rights are basic rights and freedom that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, ethnic origin, race, religion and language. Man and women have rights to the highest attainable standards,” she clarified.

Goyit declared: “We have spiritual violence where ministers of God, using religion’s Holy Book, to control choices like whether or when to give birth to children and how to allocate finances. We have sexual abuse within spiritual community.”

She stressed that this type of violence occurs when someone uses one personal’s spiritual beliefs to manipulate, dominate or control the person in church or mosque by misinterpreting scriptures to confuse women.

Also, Rev. Sabonyaro Adams of Christian Council of Nigeria, Abuja, argued that women have been abused over the years, adding: “We must do something to salvage the situation.”

He added: “The church must redeem its image and do what it ought to do. It is high time the church cleansed itself to be light of the world and salt of the earth. Sadly, the light is quenched.”

On his part, former chairman, Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Prince Godfrey Godfrey, who spoke on “The Original Biblical Concept of Womanhood”, harped on the scriptural perspectives of female, observing: “Women are to be help mates to men.”