17 November 2012

Zambia: Rising Ritual Practices Worry Church

THREE Church mother bodies have expressed concern at the increased number of ritual practices being perpetrated in some parts of the country, especially those targeting the womenfolk.

Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) have since urged Zambians to promote a culture of prayer against the rising cases of gender-based violence (GBV).

Speaking at a joint media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, ZEC secretary general Cleophas Lungu said the Church was concerned that despite being a Christian and God-fearing nation, Zambia was recording increased cases of GBV.

"There is need that all of us in the community, the Church, police, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the Government must unite in curbing this vice which is contrary to our Christian faith and our Zambian traditional values," Father Lungu said.

The media briefing was called in the context of the '16 Days of Gender Activism Against GBV' which will run from November 25 to December 10, 2012 under the theme 'From peace in a home, to peace in the world: GBV Zero tolerance now'.

Fr Lungu said the Church had resolved to partner with CSOs, media, United Nations (UN) agencies and Government in a well-coordinated and more concerted fight against GBV.

He said the three Church mother bodies would hold an inter-denominational service at Lusaka's Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross on November 25, 2012 starting at 14:00 hours.

Fr Lungu said Zambia had recorded an increased number of abominable acts of GBV and that Government should allocate more resources to the Gender ministry to deal with the vice.

"The Church is of the considered view that unless there is peace in a home, there will be no peace in the world.

"We, therefore, need to promote a culture of peace in our families by addressing all forms of GBV," he said.

He appealed to all Christians and various stakeholders to attend the Church service and pray on issues such as GBV within the context of the '16 Days of Gender Activism Against GBV'.

Speaking at same occasion, EFZ chairperson for development and community, Joshua Banda implored Zambians to promote a culture of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Dr Banda said citizens should be law abiding and desist from engaging themselves in violent activities.

He condemned the acts of criminality being perpetrated by some people in the country.

"We need to remain prayerful and promote a culture of reconciliation and forgiveness," he said.

CCZ representative, Reverend Alice Mulenga appealed to Zambians to remain focused and denounce GBV.

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