Long distance marriages tear families apart – Bishop Beleme

28th March 2018
Bishop Beleme Stanley Monageng Source:The Midweek Sun


By Keletso Thobega -

Transferring couples to areas far away from their spouses affects marriages and the stability of family life. This was said by chairperson of the Botswana Council of Churches (BCC) also Bishop of the Anglican Church in Botswana, Reverend Metlhayotlhe Beleme during the launch of the Tsholofelong Children and Youth Trust in Gaborone. Beleme said the continued breakdown of the family unit in Botswana contributed to moral degeneration in society, and in turn led to high divorce, infidelity and abuse in communities.

His sentiments echoed those of Bakgatla Regent, Kgosi Bana Sekai which he expressed to President Ian Khama during the latter’s recent farewell tour in Mochudi. Beleme implored government to support the establishment of the social values council, which he said would help bring together with key stakeholders such as dikgosi, district commissioners and religious leaders, who are involved every day in conducting marriages, settling family disputes and promoting social values through their day to day work. He said it was important to invest efforts into the family unit because most social ills are a result of the fact that the family as the basic social transformation and socialisation forum has crumbled.

Beleme said the Social Values Council would also instil or promote the value of parenting in society. “I believe you could agree with me that no parenting, no future, no future, no legacy and no better Botswana tomorrow.” He said Botswana needed a God-led social transformation, adding that churches were equipped to help in moral education and formation in society. The Bishop said Botswana is faced with a dangerous culture of moral decay where there is little respect for law and delinquency is the order of the day. He said that such actions that go against the grain were detrimental to positive nation building. “This culture of bread first, morals later create expediency culture and is detrimental to nation building.”

His vice Reverend Gabriel Simane added that Botswana had reached the pit of moral decay. He noted that as the situation stands, dogs couldn’t bark because Botswana society is eyeball to eyeball with complete destruction. Beleme noted that while the core business of the church is to preach salvation and the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, there was no academic distinction between body and spirit, adding that it was equally important for the church to contribute to the material needs of needy Batswana across the wide social spectrum. He cited that children and youth development, women empowerment, rehabilitation, refugee work and the provision of education and resources such as water, shelter and food, remained engagements close to the heart of the church, particularly those affiliated to BCC.

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