15 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Politicians Prey On Church Folk


Harare — One of the many lessons we learn from the Day of Pentecost is that the Pentecost experience was a first hand one for the disciples

They knew what had happened to them and in them. They knew the shades and subtleties, the nuances and novelty of this experience; and so they went out into the world and started telling people their story, their first hand story, with power.

They had experienced firsthand the power and grace of God, that power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, that power and grace of God that filled their lives; that power and grace of God that changed their sinful lives; that power and grace of God that filled them with forgiveness (Acts 2).

Wow! What a firsthand story to tell. We too have a firsthand story to tell about our experience of the power and grace of God in exile. Let us share that story powerfully to the glory of our gracious God.

Two things have been brought to our attention. First, that there are some aspiring politicians who are telling some of our people that they can help us because they have access to the State President. We would like you all to know that our case is pending in the Supreme Court and that if we need to have an audience with His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, we know the acceptable channels to follow.

Don't fall prey to those who want to gain political mileage out of our suffering. Resist those who may want to use our gatherings for their political ambitions. The church is for all people of God regardless of their differences that include political allegiances.

Second, threats to harm some of our rural clergy and local rural church leadership have reached our ears. Do not take these threats lightly. Please report such threats to life to the police and keep us informed. The police are obligated to protect all people without favour. We ask all our parishes to be vigilant and to be your brothers and sisters keepers.

Our diocese condemns all forms of violence and particularly political violence and therefore we urge all the faithful to shun violence. It is an affront to God's all encompassing love and unbecoming of those who claim to know him.

Let the whole world know that we are his disciples by our love for each other Jn. 13:34. Remember the words of St. John the Divine that we cannot claim to love God when we hate (harm and kill) our brothers and sisters whom we can see (1 Jn. 4:20-21). Do read 1 Jn. 3:13-20 as well.

The date for the Supreme Court hearing of our case has not yet been set. We will inform you all once we are notified of the date. In the mean time we encourage you all to persevere in prayer.

Continue to uphold in prayer your priests and their families, who together with their local leadership continue to face huge challenges and some of those in the rural areas have had their lives threatened. Remember that the price for our freedom in Christ is eternal vigilance. Care for each other especially in these troubled times.

We love you and we uphold you in our prayers. God is our refuge and a stronghold, a timely help in trouble; so we are not afraid though the earth shakes ... The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress (Ps. 46:1-2, 11).

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