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Text: “But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death…For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her” – Deuteronomy 22:25-27.

Comment: The Wikipedia defines PAEDOPHILIA as “a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children aged 11 or younger”. A paedophile is a child-sex prowler, a child molester with rabid predatory desires for minors.

Children are precious gifts from the Almighty Father as attested to by Jacob in answer to Esau's question. (Genesis 33:5). In the days of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth, when children were brought to him “he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them”. -Mark 10:15,16.

The word of God enjoins us to show love, affection, care, to children and that we work for their spiritual development, not hurt or abuse them in any way. (Proverbs 22:6) We are to bring them “up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. (Ephesians 6:4. See also Colossians 3:21) After Christ had cast out the money changers from the temple, children were saying aloud, “Hosanna to the Son of David”, the religious leaders were displeased but “Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” - Matthew 21:15, 16.

Being gifts from the Lord, anyone who exploits their innocence to visit violence on them would be punished by God Almighty. The Psalmist says: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward...” - Psalm 127:3.

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