CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 13 October 2018

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2018 Nobel for women’s dignity

SWEDEN (Agencies): Denis Mukwege, A Christian gynecologist who has dedicated his career to caring for victims of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) shared the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize with Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman victim of sexual and other violence at the hands of the Islamic State (IS) group. The Nobel committee said both winners modeled “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.”
 
Over the past 20 years, Denis Mukwege, nicknamed “Dr. Miracle” has treated tens of thousands of women in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, many of who had been victims of gang rape by militants in the midst of the country’s civil war.
 
His faith influences his approach to caring for patients holistically. Mukwege is the son of a Pentecostal minister and was inspired to pursue medicine after traveling with his father to pray for the sick. Panzi Hospital, which he founded in 1999, is managed by the Pentecostal Churches in Central Africa.
 
The 63-year-old doctor advocates out of a Christian understanding of men and women as equal in dignity before God. Christian groups have joined alongside Mukwege’s crusade against sexual and gender-based violence in the DRC.
 
Violent rape has left thousands of Congolese women bearing long-tem physical consequences.  Mukwege, being the only doctor in the province to treat these women, has become “likely the world’s leading expert on repairing injuries of rape.” The Pentecostal hospital also offers the patients therapy, legal assistance, community resources, and help reintegrating the victims into their community.
 
Mukwege challenges fellow Christians to consider “the credibility of the gospel in the 21st century, to liberate the grace that we have received by making the Church a light that still shines in this world of darkness through our struggles for justice, truth, law, freedom, in short, the dignity of man and woman.”

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