Cause worth fighting for

Geraldine Panapasa | Sunday, December 24, 2017
IT'S the day before Christmas when families are busy with last-minute preparations for one of the biggest commemorations in the Christian community's calendar.

The festive season is usually a time when families, friends and colleagues get together to dwell on the true meaning of Christmas, sharing the love with the less fortunate, indulging in the spirit of giving and most importantly for Christians, a time to reflect on the birth, life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

For countless others, the festive season is a good enough reason to continue to advocate on issues that continue to plague society, in particular violence against women and children.

Lautoka Adventist Church pastor Nasoni Lutunaliwa chose to highlight this issue on Page 4 today, joining as many as 400 youths from across the Pacific in promoting the movement to stop the crisis.

At a time when the focus is on the family unit and strengthening relationships not just spiritually, the call to end violence against women and children is a timely reminder of the need to protect the vulnerable in our community, to fight for those who live in fear, those who are suppressed and those deprived of their right to be loved and protected.

The youths were representatives from 10 Pacific Island countries attending the week-long Trans Pacific Union Mission Adventist Youth Congress who chose to depict abuse as a prevalent issue that needed urgent attention in Fiji and across the region.

Mr Lutunaliwa shared a powerful statement that linked the commemoration of Christmas to the issue of violence against women and children when he said abuse and violence went against the major principles of the Bible.

"It's embedded in the values of Christianity which is love. If you become a disciple of Jesus, you have to always remember this most vital value. Love should be shown in how we relate to people especially to those who are vulnerable in our society and those include our women and children," he had said.

"We want to make a stand … and we want our youths to grow up knowing that women and children have a special place in our communities and in our families and they should be treated as such."

The dedication and commitment to see an end to the abuse is commendable but it's a tough line to tread.

It's not easy trying to bring about change especially when the process involves a change in mind-set and behaviour towards women and children.

But it's never too late to take action to curb this social ill.

This Christmas, let's sow the seeds of love and continue to fight the good fight.

Enjoy responsibly and have a safe and merry Christmas.

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