Members of Mowbray’s Seventh-day Adventist Church took to the streets on Saturday for a peaceful march under the banner of the denomination’s global End It Now campaign against violence.
The campaign, which was launched in 2009 to take a stand against all forms of violence and particularly gender violence, was marked by Seventh-day Adventists around the world on Saturday.
There are 15 churches of this kind in the Western Cape.
The members of the Mowbray church marched along Main Road towards Observatory.
The church’s women’s ministries representative Maggie Banda said: “We are located very close to the University of Cape Town and a lot of crime and violence against women tend to happen closer to the campuses, which are situated in Rondebosch, Mowbray and Rosebank.”
Ms Banda said it was important for Adventists to speak out on the issue because there was also violence and gender violence in the church communities.
“We are not perfect, despite our religion, and we want to end it with us, as much as we want to end it within our communities,” she said.
The church’s pastor, Garland Cairncross, said: “It is our tenth year for the End It Now march, and today is a culmination of what we do at the church for the entire year leading up to this day, from our counselling sessions to the daily programmes. We therefore take our work to the streets today to get more people on board and raise further awareness about this issue.
“The outside community and student community usually have different lifestyles and do not usually engage with each other. An outsider would therefore usually prefer to not interfere with a student or another person’s business on the streets. This is also where the behaviour of just watching someone get violated or mugged comes from, instead of helping the person.
“As a church, it’s our duty to advocate action and encourage more action in communities.”