According to the Telegraph, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a second pandemic in Africa: violence against women (June 24, 2020). Between the COVID-19 lockdown and rapidly declining national economies, sexual violence has increased throughout the world, and Africa has not been immune. In Nigeria—Africa’s most populous nation, notorious for its domestic violence issues—hotlines have reportedly seen a threefold increase in domestic violence calls in recent months. “After a string of… horrific rapes and murders, the governors of Nigeria’s 36 states declared a state of emergency on rape earlier this month.” Reports include victims of all ages, including very young girls.
Because of lockdowns due to the virus, some rape victims have not been able to access health care and receive treatment. Many of those who do have access are afraid to visit health centers and hospitals out of fear of contracting the virus. According to a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Democratic Republic of Congo, “The numbers on rapes we have are just the tip of the iceberg. Some communities are avoiding health centres because they’re scared of infection of both coronavirus and Ebola.”
The Bible records that in the days of Noah, “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ foretold that similar conditions will prevail in the world just before His return (Matthew 24:37–39), and as the end of the age approaches, more and more people will become “unloving… without self-control, brutal, [and] despisers of good” (2 Timothy 3:1–3). As human governments struggle to deal with brutal behaviors that cause so much suffering, caring Christians will “sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done” (Ezekiel 9:4) and they will be praying that God’s Kingdom will come soon (Matthew 6:10). This crumbling world desperately needs the return of the Prince of Peace, when true justice will be established all over the earth (Isaiah 9:6–7). To learn more about the real Gospel that Jesus preached, read “The Way to Peace: The Missing Dimension.”