14 July 2021 Apia Samoa, By Joshua Lafoa’i.
A prominent spiritual leader is encouraging the country not to lose faith in the empowerment of women and young girls for a safer environment in their respective homes, community and the country as a whole.
Leading the service to launch the Candle Light March to denounce Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), the retired Reverend Elder Utufua Naseri (Faifeau Toeaina Malolo Manumalo) reiterated the biblical messages that condemns violence without compromise.
“Violence is a sin,” Reverend Naseri thundered from the podium.
And to reaffirm the heavenly teachings beseeching violence and abuse against women and girls he recollected the story of the Apostle Paul and his various violent exploits against the gospel.
“Violence is sin. It may be natural to some, and at some point we seem to ignore its cruelty, but violence is a sin in the eyes of God,” he said.
“It is important why we gather here today“
“Because despite the 30 years of advocating for women empowerment, and the battle to erase discrimination against women and girls, we have witnessed that this is still happening,” he said.
Rev. Elder Naseri also reminded that Samoa must never forget that the actions and languages by parents are repeated by their children.
“Women have so many names in our societies. A wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter… but we abuse and violate them?” he asked rhetorically.
“God made man in his image, meaning both the man and the woman. In his image God made them. This means that the violence and cruelty that Saul (reborn as Apostle Paul) perpetrated onto others, he was doing to God,” Rev. Elder Naseri added.
“Violence on each other, especially violence on women and girls, no matter the form, is a sin in Gods eyes,” he reiterated.
Rev. Elder Naseri condemned cruelty against women, reminding the crowd at the gathering that Samoa is the pillar in the Pacific that must stand tall to defend women and the initiatives of the movement when it first started.
“We must be vigilant in defending the principles we adopted 30 years ago,” he added.
In summing up, Rev. Elder Naseri, with words of encouragement urged all the leaders of Samoa, to lead by example.