The interview took place on 17 February during the installation of the WCC general secretary.
“We have problems in terms of all the issues affecting children, including gender-based violence,” Jace Pillay said. “The problem is we do not have a sufficient focus on the code of conduct in schools, even though it exists on paper.”
Unfortunately, Pillay is aware of many gross violations of children’s rights in Africa. “For example, you still see child soldiers. You see child marriages,” he said, and many other countries need better policies and, most important, implementation of those policies.
“I think the church has a very important role and children are the leaders of the future,” he said. “I think if the churches are very, very focused on looking the children, on beliefs and practices that embrace the role of the church, and put God first in everything, our children are going to grow up to be model citizens.”
Children are suffering because of a lack of genuine values, beliefs, and practices, he added.
“I think the church is very, very important,” he said. “The thing about the church is it involves families, it involves communities, and it involves even parents who may be uneducated—but their spirituality is really strong.”