The Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process (RTCYPP) released on Thursday a video of Cyprus’ religious leaders condemning violence against women and girls to mark International Women’s Day.
The video highlights the joint commitment of the religious leaders of Cyprus to condemning all forms of violence against women and girls.
The religious leaders of the five main faith communities – Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Armenian Orthodox, Maronite and Latin Catholic – also said in a joint statement they are deeply concerned that ‘violence against women and girls continues to be one of the most pervasive manifestations of discrimination against women in Cyprus. This includes economic, psychological, sexual, and physical violence’.
Violence, they said, undermines women’s dignity and integrity and has devastating effects on their lives with severe consequences for families, communities and societies.
“As long as it persists, the world cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace,” the statement said.
Men and women, the religious leaders said, have equal value in the eyes of God.
“Christianity and Islam condemn violence against women. Violence against women and girls, in whatever form, is a contradiction of the will of God and unacceptable in His eyes”.
Religious leaders, they said, don’t only have a responsibility but also a religious duty to stand united against violence in all its forms everywhere, including violence against women and girls.
They said they are committed to ensuring that violence against women and girls is recognised, condemned and that there are legal frameworks and institutions capable of dealing with it.
“In this regard, we are committed to working together with state and civil society partners to end violence against women and girls in Cyprus.”
The signatories are Archbishop Chrysostomos II, Mufti of Cyprus Dr Talip Atalay, Archbishop of the Maronite Church of Cyprus, Yousef Soueif, Archbishop of the Armenian Church of Cyprus, Khoren Toghramadjian and Latin Patriarchal Vicar and Representative of the Apostolic Nunciature in Cyprus, Reverend Father Jerzy Kraj.
The videos are available in English and with Greek and Turkish subtitles.