The Seventh-day Adventists Church Speaks Out Against Gender-based Violence
The Seventh-day Adventist Church Speaks Out
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is speaking out about violence against women, children, men, and the elderly. We recognize that as believers in a heavenly Father, we must become agents of change, helping to end the evils of abuse and gender-based violence—both in society and within the church itself. The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s position is clear in the decades-old history of advocating against sexual abuse in the church, even years before it was common to find the topic in newspaper headlines, according to leaders. As far back as 1987, church leaders voted a Statement on Sexual Behavior, and in 1990, they added a Statement on Pornography. As the years passed, official statements focused more on the specifics, such as the 1995 Statement on Abuse and Family Violence, and the 1996 Statement on Family Violence, and the 1997 Statement on Child Sexual Abuse. Later, in 2000, church leaders voted a Statement on Female Genital Mutilation, and in 2010, a document on ending Violence Against Women and Girls.
Many Churches Speak Out
Many denominations and communities of faith recognize the urgent need to end the violence against women and to bring about justice. Many have created, or support, organizations working to create awareness, to educate the public, and to find ways to stop the violence.
For example, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches [WARC] expressed concern, especially in light of the current world economic crisis and its effect on violence against women. “We cannot continue to ignore the plight of women and girls who are attacked in their homes or are targets of war crimes. WARC calls for renewed commitment to accelerate rather than slow down the process of seeking to end violence against women and girls and to bring about justice.” Poor women in poor countries suffer the most from the impact of the economic crisis. Increased social unrest leads to rising levels of violence, with women and girls most vulnerable to attack. Yet funding for program designed to protect and empower women is being reduced, points out a spokesperson for WARC. (From WARC statement issued March 4, 2009, to mark International Women’s Day)