Post written by Folafoluwa Soluade – The Imago Dei
This semester, I am working on some projects for International Justice Mission Uganda. The current project I am working on is creating a case law database related to issues including defilement, abduction, rape, and domestic violence.
IJM Uganda is committed to protecting women and children from violence. Further, the organization has four specific objectives that help them fulfill their commitment:
- rescuing women and children from violence and helping local leaders and law enforcement;
- bringing criminals to justice;
- restoring survivors by providing counseling and other necessary aid;
- and strengthening the justice system.
In reading and summarizing the different categories of cases for the database, I am burdened by the utter disregard for human life that many have. Cases where there is the defilement of childhood innocence and purity. Cases where husbands are beating their wives. Kicking them even while they lay helpless on the ground, some even to the point of death.
The Imago Dei
This is such a blatant denial of the Imago Dei, which is translated as “image of God”. This is an expression that uniquely associates with human beings. Finding its origins in Genesis 1:27, which says “God created man in his own image.”
The implications of the Imago Dei are that humans are to love God and humans must love other humans. This concept is found within Scripture. Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:19 and Mark 12:31 among many other verses, commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Matthew 22:36-40 famously calls one to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.
Further, each of us being created in the image of God means that we are deserving of respect and the affirmance of basic human dignity.
This is why organizations such as IJM Uganda are so important. Through their work they are affirming the Imago Dei in every individual that they help.
These individuals have been told lies, they have been mistreated, and they have been subjected to degrading circumstances. IJM Uganda is restoring survivors by “providing counseling, ensuring that children can go to school, and helping women begin income-generating projects.”[i]
They empower families “through training and by providing resources to rebuild their lives.”[ii] Further, in all of this they are reflecting the love of God to each of these individuals. Let us never lose sight of the sanctity of human life. And may you never forget the important command to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.