24 Feb 2014 13:00pm
ONGWEDIVA, 24 FEB (NAMPA) President Hifikepunye Pohamba said the church stands in a special position and, as such, it should continue to teach its congregations and members about the value of self-respect and respect for others.
Pohamba said this at the consecration of Reverend Dr Veikko Munyika as the third bishop of the Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia conducted at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region on Sunday.
The president described the spate of violence, especially violence against women and children, as a source of great concern for the whole Namibian nation.
It is vital that we join hands to address this challenge as a matter of urgency, Pohamba stated, adding that those who commit heinous crimes such as murder and rape do not deserve mercy and should face the full force of the law.
According to him, about 12 women have been brutally killed this year by men who claimed to be their lovers, while a total of 25 women were also killed by their so-called lovers last year.
Pohamba then pointed out that there is a need for proper upbringing of young people so that they can grow up to become responsible and law-abiding adults.
I urge the church to continue providing our people with a moral compass so that they can focus their energies on constructive activities, said the Head of State.
He went on to say Namibia needs law-abiding citizens whose focus is on the well-being of their families and the development of the communities and the country at large.
Pohamba also called upon the church to actively participate in the fight against diseases such as HIV/Aids by assisting in equipping the young people with the moral values to abstain from sexual activities and for partners to be faithful in order to reduce the spread of HIV/Aids.
He then thanked the church for working together with Government in order to ensure effective distribution of drought relief to affected households and communities across the country.
He also encouraged church leaders such as pastors, deacons and elders of congregations to continue to assist with the identification of vulnerable households so that they can be prioritized in the distribution of drought-relief supplies.
Some cabinet ministers, a number of clergy people from within Namibia and abroad and hundreds of Christians attended the consecration.
Munyika, 61, was elected by the 22nd Synod of ELCIN held at Ongwediva in November last year to be the third bishop of the Western Diocese of ELCIN.
He is succeeding Bishop Josafat Shanghala who has retired after serving the diocese for some three years.