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Pacific delegates to the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly dressed in black Thursday to remember the victims of domestic violence.
The black clothing symbolized the commitment of churches to end violence against women across the globe.
Delegates from Fiji, Kiribati, Maohi Nui (French Polynesia), Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga, west Papua and Vanuatu joined more than 5000 international participants in wearing black at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary Reverend Francois Pihaatae said regional delegates recognized the importance of ending violence against women and children.
“One of the resolutions of the PCC General Assembly in Honiara in March was for Pacific churches to step up activities in this area,” Rev Pihaatae said.
“In order to do that we have strengthened the PCC’s women’s desk and have recruited a vastly experienced coordinator who will begin a new programme of work in January 2014 targeting the end of violence through activities with member churches.
“We recognize that in the Pacific, if the churches speak powerfully on an issue, the people will pay attention and it is our hope that we can make some positive changes.”
Dr Fulata Mbana-Moyo, the WCC Executive for Women in Church and Society, said men and women needed to work together to end violence.
“This (violence) is a church issue because it exists within and outside the church,” Dr Mbana-Moyo said.
“And the church lives in the community where the violence takes place. It’s not an issue that should be treated as a woman’s problem and therefore only women should deal with it.
“It’s a scar upon the community and therefore the community should take it up and say … this is not something we want to be part of.”
Pacific delegates will wear black again next week in solidarity with people working to end violence against women.
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