According to Wikipedia, in 2010, 48.3% of
Nigerians were Christians; 48.9% were Muslims, and 2.8% were followers of
indigenous and other religions, or unaffiliated (source: Report on Religion and Public Life by the Pew
Research Center, 18 December 2012), Christian Religious Groups are different
groups or societies which can be found in churches and they differ according to
the Christian Religious Groups are women organization, men fellowship, youth
groups/fellowship, legion of Mary, Mary league, Pregnant Women’s Group, Singles
churches, one is recognized and can be identified by one’s membership these Christian
Religious Groups, and these makes the groups very strong and influential. The
policies and decisions of these Christian Religious Groups are binding on their
members, as they are empowered by the leadership of the Church to function.
The women Christian
Religious Group for example, apart from their annual general meetings, they also
meet weekly to discuss issues relating to their welfare and the progress of the
past, “Ending Child Pregnancy Campaign” was championed by the women Christian
Religious Groups of the Catholic and Anglican Church which yielded positive
result, especially in Anambra State.
Religious Groups are even stronger and more influential in the rural areas
where most of the FGM cases are performed.
engagements have revealed that FGM is practiced by loving parents, some of whom
are members of different Christian Religious Groups, and they believe it to be in
the best interest of their daughters or wards. Therefore, empowering these Christian
Religious Groups to sustain the campaign to #endFGM will yield positive result because
in those groups, there are father, mothers, brothers, sisters and even the
girls that maybe cut.
in this sense can be in form of educating members of the Christian Religious
groups about FGM and its harmful effects, as well as why they should join the
campaign to end the practice.
already available structures of these Christian Religious groups are tapped to
build the capacity of the members as champions and trainers, then there is a
possibility that they will accelerate the elimination of FGM.
has been recognized as a key to ending a social norm, since one cannot teach
what one does not know. And it is when members
of these Christian Religious Groups are informed, that they have a better understanding
and join the campaign.
information on the negative consequences of FGM will expose the truth that it
has no known positive effect, as against any myth that may have supported the
existence of this harmful traditional practice in Nigeria.
strategies which can be adopted by #endFGM campaigners for empowering Christian
Religious Groups to champion the campaign are highlighted below
group dialogue and sensitize members of these Christian Religious Groups on the
importance of ending FGM.
selected member of the Christian Religious Groups on how to conduct advocacy,
sensitization, community dialogue and consensus building meetings.
the Christian Religious Groups in community based trainings on reporting and
tracking of FGM related cases.
Christian Religious Groups to use their regular meetings as avenues for
training and sensitizing members, therefore ensuring sustainability of the
resources for the provision of materials and other logistics for continuous
sensitization of members of the Christian Religious Groups.
these Christian Religious groups are empowered accordingly, they in turn become
crusaders of the campaign in their various Churches, families, kindred’s,
villages and communities.
the benefit of empowering Christian Religious Groups are highlighted below;
- Empowering Christian Religious
Groups to campaign against FGM will reach a very wide audience because the members
groups are readily available and cut across gender, age, marital status, etc.
with Christian Religious Groups is cost-effective because the members are
volunteers and will their work within the time of their normal Church activities.
will be easy dissemination of information to the community because each member
of the Christian Religious Groups will, easily, take the messages to other family
members, even if they belong to different faith groups.
is a vital key to ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria; therefore
training members of these Christian Religious Groups will result in a
proliferation of #endFGM advocates in the intervention communities.
these Christian Religious Groups are empowered just like in the “Ending Child
Pregnancy Campaign”, they will champion the campaign because they will understand
that the sustenance of the campaign will save millions of lives.
The major work of the Christian Religious Groups, besides providing basic information about FGM, is to remind their members that “FGM is against Christian teachings” and cite the relevant portions in the Bible (e.g. Genesis 17:10-14, Joshua 5:7) .
optimistic that, by the time over 48.3% of Nigerians that are Christians
receive the message and understand the importance of ending FGM, it will
accelerate the abandonment of the practice in the country.
champion this campaign to end FGM, let us also remember that we have a duty to
protect the girl-child and woman from harmful traditional practices. Therefore,
you and I need to become advocates to #endcuttinggirls in this generation.
In conclusion, the Church
remains a major platform in the campaign for an FGM-free society, empowering
the Christian Religious Groups in our Churches as advocates is pivotal in the
#endFGM campaign. This brings us to the
end of today twitter conference. Thanks for Joining u! It’s question time.
29. To learn more about the
@endcuttinggirls Campaign, please visit www.endcuttinggirls.org for
information. You may also follow our
social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, using