Right Reverend Dr Hilliard Dela Dogbe
Right Reverend Dr Hilliard Dela Dogbe

Right Reverend Dr Hilliard Dela Dogbe, Presiding Bishop, A.M.E. Zion Church, has called on the Church to rethink ministry and the delivering of justice to benefit mankind.

He said this was necessary because the congregation shared a common faith, which moved them to solidarise by way of interlocking relationships, mutual sharing, trust and respect.

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The Presiding Bishop noted this would be an attestation that justice and fairness as enshrined in the scriptures, was touching base with the people saying “if the Church is peaceful, society is peaceful”.

Rev. Dr. Dogbe, also in-charge of the Western West Africa Episcopal District, said this at the Southern Sector Justice Conference organised by the GlobeServe Ministries International and Westwood Community Church in collaboration with International Justice Mission (IJM) in Ho.

It was under the theme, “The Role of The Church in Social Justice”.

He said there was deep inner need for relatedness, connectedness and acceptance for people, who had suffered some form of injustice, for which, the Church must avail itself for communal contact, participation and support.

Rev. Dr. Dogbe emphasised that Churches or environments where injustice thrived and oppression dominated, people became traumatised and exhibited tendencies or defenses to protect themselves from dehumanizing attitudes creating chaos.

“These people are alienated, stigmatised, depersonalised, dehumanized and demonized as a result of their peculiar situation, be it child slavery, child prostitution or branded as witches or wizards.

“The Church as a community characterised by trust and openness must provide the grace of acceptance in an environment of mutual disclosure. This environment of trust enables all to embrace the totality of the personhood of one another,” the Presiding Bishop stated.

He suggested that Sunday schools, bible studies and other educational programmes could be explored, where biblical justice could be integrated into the daily life and practice of faith and therefore called for Church and civil society partnership in areas of education, advocacy and empowerment.

Rev. Dr. Dogbe said this would enable all to understand the perplexing dynamics of the injustices and dehumanizing behaviours of oppression and how to engage victims and their families to enhance their dignity and foster their well-being.

Rev Samuel Anthony Dunya, General Overseer of GlobeServe, said the conference was borne out of the incessant cases of child trafficking and child labour on the Volta Lake.

He said injustice could be stemmed “when we come together and develop a holistic plan to stump the practice out.”

Rev. Dr. Dogbe said justice could not be left with the government or judiciary, “for if we do our work well as a Church, injustice will become justice and the realisation of freeing these children and bring justice to redeem these souls will be positive”.

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