Rape: how to help heal the hurt and stop the attacks

A Christian Science perspective.

The rape of anyone anywhere is despicable. Sometimes such news is met with indifference because sexual assaults occur every day throughout the world. While rape has been a difficult subject for people to discuss openly, it concerns every man and woman. Euripides said, “When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.”

News of the gang rapes in India and reports that some among the Muslim Brotherhood are paying gangs to go out and rape women protesting in Egypt show that we must address the issue if we would end it. Rape as a weapon of war must be stopped. And yes, there is something each of us can do.

Such attacks are cowardly and self-seeking. They are less about sex and more about power and control. But power born of worldliness enslaves humanity to the ugliest of evils.

Christ Jesus demonstrated man’s God-given dominion, healing sickness and sin, and thereby revealing the supremacy of Christ, Truth. Referring to this power, he said, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).

Through innate God-given authority as God’s sons and daughters, we each have spiritual power over every phase of evil. Using our God-derived capacity, we reflect the sovereignty of good in our thoughts, words, and actions. So it is that omnipotent, divine power overcomes the fury of hate, the tyranny of pride, and self-seeking sin. By employing divine power through prayer, we conquer the limitations of materialism and bondage of the flesh to free ourselves and others.

A woman found this helpful after she had been raped. Alone, battered, and in shock, she reached out to God in prayer. Hours passed as she battled between consciousness and unconsciousness, growing stronger with her insistence that the rape and rapist had no God-given authority. Identifying herself spiritually, she yielded to the kingdom of God within, which enabled her to access this spiritual power.

Within a day, all the physical trauma was healed, and she resumed her normal schedule. Strengthened by prayer, she squared herself against the evidence that she was a victim or could be the battleground for evil through her innocence or another’s malice. Her simple protests of truth for the omnipotence of good for herself and all humanity freed her from embarrassment, hideous suggestions that somehow she was to blame or deserved it, and that she would inevitably suffer from permanent psychological scars.

Rejecting fear, anger, resentment, and bitterness, she was empowered by this statement from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy: “The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good. Sickness to him is no less a temptation than is sin, and he heals them both by understanding God’s power over them” (p. 450).

Within a couple of months she knew she was completely freed by a power greater than self-will or self-determination. The depth of her peace and true joy inspired her to continue her prayers for years to come that she might help other victims and stop would-be victimizers. Years later when her attacker telephoned her, she wasn’t afraid. She had long ago forgiven him and trusted justice to God. Because she knew that divine power was supreme, she was not surprised to hear him apologize for the attack and explain that he had reformed and had never attacked another. 

News of rape pulls at the heart of every good man or woman. We can all do more to help. The prayer of a righteous man or woman is the most powerful force on the planet for healing victims, reforming perpetrators, preventing crime, and ending war. We can prove here and now what the Bible says: “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4, 5).

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