CNN Article: "Afghan children raped with ‘impunity,’ U.N. official says" What is the Christian response?

Chris —  August 8, 2008

What are Christians to say to people who go through such things?  Is it true that children are raped with impunity?  Impunity means “exemption or freedom from punishment.”  I looked it up.

This CNN article describes the awful situation in Afghanistan.  According to the article, serial rapists who prey on women and children have no fear of consequences.  One family says they will commit suicide unless justice is served.

The young Afghan girl sits in the center of the room, weeping. Using her hand and her blue scarf to hide her face, she recounts how she was brutally raped by five gunmen.

The 12-year-old girl, gang-raped in Afghanistan, weeps as her family demands justice.

The 12-year-old girl, gang-raped in Afghanistan, weeps as her family demands justice.

The girl’s tragic case is one of many in war-torn Afghanistan, activists say.

The 12-year-old girl’s family members say they’ll take their own lives unless justice is served.

“We will all commit suicide; this is not living,” cries the mother of the girl, whose gang-rape occurred in Northern Afghanistan.

The girl’s adolescent voice pleads for help from Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan.

The girl’s elderly and immobilized father trembles and can only raise a quivering hand as he sobs. He is rendered helpless in a country where a man’s dignity and honor is protecting his family.

Her little brother sits in the back, far too young to understand the situation but still traumatized by the devastated cries around him. He wipes away his tears.

The children’s mother sobs. “We’ve been violated. We can’t live our lives. We can’t sit. We can’t sleep at night,” she says.

The need for a careful Christian answer to the question of how to deal with unrepentant offenders is increasingly evident.

Before speaking, Christians should consider what Holocaust survivor Ellie Wiesel said about responding to evil. After describing what it was like being imprisoned at Auschwitz—where he had to decide whether or not to continue giving his father food, or to assume that his father was not going to live and to eat the food himself—Wiesel reflected,

Sometimes I am asked if I know ‘the response to Auschwitz’; I answer that not only do I not know it, but that I don’t even know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response. What I do know is that there is ‘response’ in responsibility. When we speak of this era of evil and darkness, so close and yet so distant, ‘responsibility’ is the key word.

Wiesel is right. We must speak to these questions responsibly.

My prayer is that Unpacking Forgiveness will speak responsibly to victims like this.

Most of all, let us pray more fervently, “Thy Kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

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2 responses to CNN Article: "Afghan children raped with ‘impunity,’ U.N. official says" What is the Christian response?

  1. Quick clarification to the original question, the one asked in the title …

    Are you asking what the Christian response should be to children being raped in Afghanistan or are you asking what the Christian response should be if this was your family experiencing this trauma?

  2. Good question. Sorry for the ambiguity. I was asking, “How should Christians speak to victims who are struggling with bitterness and rage?”