In the Name of Honor

In the Name of Honor is an absolutely bone-chilling documentary which documents the shocking practice of “honor killings” in India, Jordan, and Palestine. Viewers will see a number of interviews from survivors, perpetrators, family members and community members from Hindus, Muslims, and (yes, it’s true) Christians.

Listening to men talk blandly about killing sisters and cousins without remorse is shocking to say the least. Interviews with survivors and affected family members is heartbreaking. Although it is difficult to watch, I highly recommend this documentary because it speaks the truth about this evil cultural practice, which, according to the filmmaker, is not condoned by any religion. Customs and cultural practices seem so concrete as to disallow any change.

In spite of such a hopeless situation, what on earth can we do to help? I recall from one of my United Methodist Women books that there are agencies working to fight such killings and to protect victims, but I had to do some additional research for ideas.

  • Humanity Healing, working with Hope Development Organization (sorry, but neither are rated on Charity Navigator) looks like a great organization, because they are working on education for communities. They actively train “Women Community Agencies” in Pakistan to fight against honor killings and domestic violence. You can help them by signing petitions, raising awareness, and making financial contributions to their cause.
  • AHA Foundation (not enough revenue to be rated on Charity Navigator) works to fight against honor killings, female genital mutilation and forced marriages in the US. They provide training, investigate incidents, and provide support for victims.
  • Honor Based Violence Awareness Network (also not rated on Charity Navigator) works on training, awareness, collaboration with experts and research.

One takeaway for me is that I had to search far and long to find these organizations and that none of them are getting any press or any ratings on Charity Navigator. I believe our duty as Christians is to raise awareness about the problem, but also to discuss it in our church groups, and of course to help victims whenever possible. Who knows what kind of progress we can make to help these women and girls if we work together with our various congregations to serve these women?

We can be the change if we work together and refuse to turn a blind eye to shameful behavior.

Philippians 2:4 (NRSV): Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Serve all with love.

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