‘With One Voice’: Fiji Council of Churches documentary

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A documentary film made on behalf of the Fiji Council of Churches, ‘With One Voice: Churches against Violence against Women and Children’,  is now on-line.

Following a motion by the Most Reverend Dr Winston Halapua, Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia, the Fiji Council of Churches made a consensus decision in September 2016 to support the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence and also the ‘Break the Silence’ Sunday initiative (marked on the Sunday immediately preceding November 25, the start of the 16 Days of Activism.

The Fiji Council of Churches’ campaign includes a 43 minute documentary ‘With One Voice: Churches against Violence against Women and Children’, now on-line here, and a 60-second commercial for television and cinema,  here, which features church leaders speaking out against gender-based-violence.

“It is important that we not only address the sin of gender-based violence and child abuse within our church community, but as faith leaders we speak with one voice in condemning it and calling for our communities and homes to be safe,” said Fiji Council of Churches president Revd Dr Tevita Banivanua of the Methodist Church.

Fiji Council of Churches vice president Major Uraia Dravikula of the Salvation Army said, “The sad thing is many Christian men make excuses for their behavior. They say it is their duty to do such things to women. They make the excuse that it comes from God for them to do those things. But that is false. Doctrinally it is not correct, Christ does not support those kinds of things. Christ elevates the status of women and children in the community and he comes up hard against those who have those kind of standards in the community especially those within the church dressed in sheep’s clothing.”

The documentary offers glimpses of the work that many churches are already doing or have started doing in their own faith communities. For example, Gender Specialist Ms Tupou Vere describes the genesis of the House of Sarah which has been established as a centre where women seeking urgent assistance or advice can go. The House of Sarah runs awareness raising workshops in three languages and has formulated school curricula on building respectful behaviour.

The House of Sarah has also been instrumental in setting up the Christian Network Talanoa (CNT), a Fiji-based ecumenical network of organised women’s units working on removing the culture of silence and shame around violence against women especially in faith-based settings. The network has assisted the Fiji Council of Churches campaign by producing liturgical resources.

The documentary film and commercial were produced by the Methodist Church in Fiji Department of Communications. The initiative was supported by UN Women.

 

Posted by: Terrie Robinson | Friday, February 10th, 2017
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