Religious leaders in Rwamagana District have joined the campaign against gender-based-violence (GBV) and to advocate for peaceful coexistence among their congregations.
They made the commitment during a meeting organised by Rwanda National Police (RNP) early this week that was attended by over 120 participants including medical practitioners and members of community policing committees (CPCs) operating in the district.
Pastor Muhire Celestin of ADEPR Pentecostal Church in Rubona Sector, commended police for extending its partnership to religious bodies, and called on his counterparts to be part of national action plans and work with their communities to improve their understanding against GBV and criminality in general.
“As servants of God, we should advocate against any form of inequality in society. That is why it important for us to partner with law enforcers by increasing our engagement and commitment to combating issues of GBV and child abuse,” Muhire said.
“Even as religious denominations, we should work together and organise activities that strengthen our network in the fight against unlawful acts.”
Rwamagana District Community Liaison Officer, Assistant Inspector of Police Gorette Uwimana, told the participants that as the guardians of morality in society, religious leaders are best placed to guide and influence their communities in overcoming dangerous practices that undermine the rights of women and children.
“The crime of GBV causes community insecurity and hampers the development of families. Therefore, religious leaders should also help families to make a transition from suffering GBV to mutual and safe living,” she said.
From a community policing perspective, AIP Uwimana further noted that faith-based organizations offer a key partnership to RNP as the transmitters of community safety programs to residents.
“Religious denominations are institutions that can help to improve police-neighborhood partnerships. You can also act more effectively by working closely with the youth and other interest groups to teach them about the effects of GBV and how they can contribute to sustaining peace in their neighborhoods,” she added.
Community Policing has proved a major tool in modern policing and to narrow the gap between Police and the public against criminality.