Religious leaders in the country have called upon religious institutions and all Malawians in general to rise up in the fight against rape and defilement which is currently on the rise in the country.
Of late, there has been an increase in cases where male adults are taking advantage of young girls with a four year old girl reported to have died recently in Chiradzulu after she was defiled by a 21 year old man.
Just last week in Mulanje police also arrested a 28 year old man for continuously defiling a 12 year old girl, impregnating her in the process.
While faulting laxity in the country’s laws as one of the factors triggering the trend, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) General Secretary (GS) for Blantyre Synod, Reverend Alex Maulana in an interview on Thursday noted that the church is equally not doing enough to help curb the malpractice haunting the nation.
“This is a total demonic and sinful behaviour which should not be allowed to develop roots but the church is not helping either because had it been it is doing much, this sin wouldn’t have reached this extent,” said Maulana.
According to Maulana, the church should use its structures to preach against this devilish behaviour and ensure that children are protected.
Commenting on the same, Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) Publicity Secretary, Sheikh Jafaar Kawinga acknowledged that despite having a lot of preachers and evangelists on the land, topics of rape and defilement are not given attention by men of the pulpit.
“We, the religious institutions are tackling these topics less in our sermons in mosques and churches. People are also always occupied with political campaigns instead of campaigning against rape and defilement. Rape and defilement evils are killing the social religious foundation that Malawi is built on as a God fearing country,” said Kawinga.
He said religious institutions need to conduct more programmes besides preaching like trainings and seminars on rape and defilement for their followers since keeping quite is only worsening the situation.
Further condemning the acts, Blantyre Archdiocese Communications Secretary, Reverend Frank Mwinganyama said the rise of issues of child abuse reflects badly on Malawi describing it as a sign of general moral decay in the society.
“We as a church condemn this in strongest terms. Children are a gift from God. Jesus protected children and compared their innocence with those to be saved as written in Matthew 19:14 and Luke 18:16,” said Mwinganyama.
He said the country has not done much on moral formation of the citizenry adding that even though laws and policies are formulated, there is still need to speak to the conscience of the people.
“There could be various reasons for doing such evil acts but normally something ought to prick your conscience before abusing a four year old child,” he pointed out.
Mwinganyama said on their part, the Catholic Church was doing a lot on the issue as it has a Child Protection Policy and special desk at the national secretariat.
“Each diocese is now supposed to have a coordinator for the same. Right now, a training workshop of these coordinators is underway. We also offer safe environments for proper formation of children in Parishes. As already indicated, abuse can come in various ways; children need age appropriate lessons for proper growth,” he explained.
He, however, noted that the country needs concerted efforts to protect children.
“Our bishops at the 2014 AMECEA Assembly described children as the joy and gift of the Church hence the need for efforts to protect them,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :