By Justus Waimiri
[ACNS source: CAPA] A conference on violence in the family organised by the International Anglican Family Network (IAFN) opened in Nairobi, Kenya, today.
The workshop brings together over 30 representatives from Provinces in Africa to discuss violence between couples, violence against children, elderly people and civil war. The meeting will assess the magnitude of the problem and make recommendations to the Anglican Consultative Council under which IAFN is affiliated.
Most of the delegates complained about what they called a conspiracy of silence on violence saying issues of violence in the home were being swept under the carpet by the society and even by the Church.
"Hardly do we hear our priests talking about violence in the family even though some of them have buried domestic violence victims," said Esther Mombo of St Paul’s Theological College, Limuru in Kenya. She called for empowerment of clergy and laity to sensitise congregations on violence.
The consultations are being chaired by Archdeacon Taimalelagi Matalavea, who is the Anglican Observer at the United Nations in New York. In her opening address, Archdeacon Taimalelagi said the Anglican UN Office was committed to promoting fundamental human rights and freedoms, the empowerment of women, preservation of the environment and the advancement of justice and peace. This is being done by working closely with the various UN agencies.
Retired Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Dr David Gitari is the co-facilitator and is also chairing the Drafting Group.
Anglican Church of Kenya Provincial Secretary Bishop William Waqo officially opened the consultation on behalf of Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. Referring to the Book of Genesis, Bishop Waqo described the family as God’s most important institution and called for strengthening of the family unit.
The meeting ends on Tuesday, next week.
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