The Archbishop of the Sokoto Diocese, and the Founder of The Kukah Centre, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has called for the end of the abuse of religion, and the increase in gender-sensitive theology.
He made the request during his speech at the National Conference of the Kukah Centre in Abuja on Thursday which was tagged “Unveiling the Ethical and Religious Policy Framework for Addressing GBV in Nigeria: A Faith-Based Approach”.
However, while speaking about the document, he said it focused on a vital topic which “gender-sensitive theology”, pointing out the role religion in silencing victims of GBV, with the notion that is it God’s will.
According to him, “We have a duty and responsibility to go beyond the bastardization of religion by criminals, it does not matter their status.And when people do this, our African culture also suggests you cannot go and report your father, you cannot go and report your mother.
“So, your father is beating your mother until he kills her, and you cannot say anything because how are you going to disgrace your family? You are not dealing with the fact that your husband is a disgrace to humanity or manhood, and he is a disgrace to the family, but culture does not allow you.
“These are the things the document presents to us. Now we have the raw material because the report gives us a moral sense of direction, it has contents of education, it talks about psychosocial support, and it talks about the need for us to develop gender-sensitive theology.Because in the name of religion, when you involve God, everything goes down.
That is why in Nigeria today, people are suffering, the criminals are getting away, they are in power, the heart of power and somebody tells you that is the way God made it.
And when you instrumentalize that over time, then you can justify why beggars should be on the street, because that is the way God wants it.
This document helps us, and we must use this document to confront our Imams, to confront our Bishops, to confront our Priests, to confront religion as we understand it.
Because religion is not supposed to be what it is used for in Nigeria”.Speaking to the pressmen, Kukah also noted that the policy document was targeted at religious leaders, and to also help both men and women understand the erroneous deployment of religion and culture.
He said, “So, our interest in this project, which has been going on for quite a long time, is to help religious leaders themselves to become more sensitive, but also to deploy their moral authority to support the campaign against gender-based violence.
Our target is largely religious leaders, but also it is important that the women themselves, and the men understand that these are issues that affect our common humanity, and tradition, culture and religion have been erroneously deployed”.