Monday, December 15, 2008

Defending a Woman's Integrity

She was an unmarried pregnant girl. Probably fifteen or sixteen years old. To complicate matters she was engaged to be married, but her fiancée was not the father of her baby. To make matters worse she lived in a rural village that was bound by years of religious tradition that expected girls like her to be stoned to death.

Read more about this in Matthew 1: 18-25.

This is a common story that still ranges across the communities of our world.
• 4 May 2007: Du’a Khalil Aswad was beaten, kicked and stoned for 30 minutes at the hands of a lynch mob before one of her attackers launched a carefully aimed fatal blow. The murder was carried out in public, watched by hundreds of men cheering and yelling. Du’a’s crime? To fall in love with a Sunni boy. Her family practised the Yezidi religion
• Tehran, 5 Feb 08: Two sisters have been sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for allegedly committing adultery. Lawyer for the sisters, Jabbar Solati, said they faced the death penalty after a previous sentence of 99 lashes had been carried out. The two sisters, Azar and Zohreh Kabiri, 27 and 28 years-old respectively come from the suburb of Shahriar, north of Tehran. Both are accused of an extra-marital affair and each has one child.
• Tehran, 18 Feb. 08: A man known as Sharif has reportedly stoned his fourteen-year-old daughter to death in southeastern Iran because for allegedly having a relationship with a man.
• On 28 October 2008 Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, 13, was killed by 50 Somali men who stoned her in a stadium in Kismayu in front of about 1,000 spectators.

Each of these situations is about men who are more powerful than women. And each required a man to stand up and defend the woman. This week in our church life we remember such a man: he was Joseph of Nazareth. He took the pregnant woman as his wife and defended her honour (Matt 1:24). And Mary gave birth to Jesus – and the rest is history! If more men were willing to defend women against men, we would have the possibility of a better society. Let us all learn from the example of Joseph.


Dion said...

A superb angle on this story Pete! It has brought it alive for me. Thank you!

Now, you need to install QIK on your lovely Ericsson cell phone and do this in a 2 minute video! It would be great to see you sharing this message in your own special way. Simply go to sign up and download the app for your phone.

Rich blessing,


Arthur said...

Dion has a point there Pete!

This is a great post and a reminder of the miracle and message of Christmas.