AbstractTaking the final report of the HSRC’s exploratory study on family murder as a point of departure, the involvement of clergy and church regarding the phenomenon of family murder is discussed in this article. After highlighting some of the findings of the exploratory study, specific problematic aspects are addressed. The implications of the Christian message of hope to people in the situation of hopelessness, murder and suicide implicit in the phenomenon of family murder, are also evaluated. Likewise, the problematic relationship between the consequences of the gospel and the requirements for mental health is also touched upon. This relationship is looked at from the perspective of certain aspects of the empirical research done in this field. Furthermore, the possible supportive role of the church is stressed: this 'ecology of care’ and the church's message of hope ought to be functional in the situation of hopelessness accompanying family murder. In conclusion, certain preventative actions, in which the church may be instrumental, are pointed out.
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