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Persistent persecution of the church continues in Zimbabwe

ICC Note

“The meeting was for Christians who felt they cannot remain silent while the country burns with companies closing, inflation (26,000 percent) hitting everyone hard and the majority of people suffering.”

By Michael Ireland

Tuesday, February 5, 2008 Zimbabwe (ANS) — Eight Church leaders, including a blind pastor were arrested during a meeting in front of 400 worshippers and detained in police cells in Kadoma (120 km South West of Harare), in what is seen as continuing persecution of the church by the ZANU PF government.

The arrested Church leaders are Jonathan Gokovah, Pastor Raymond Motsi, Pius Wakatama, Pastor Ancelimo Magaya, Pastor Wilson Mugabe, Pastor Zvizai Chiponda, Lawrence Berejena and Gerald Mubaiwa.

In an e-mail report to ANS from the Foundation of Reason and Justice, Pastor Moyo is quoted as saying: “The meeting was for Christians who felt they cannot remain silent while the country burns with companies closing, inflation (26,000 percent) hitting everyone hard and the majority of people suffering.”

The Pastors declared: “We are not aligned to any political party and we don’t mind who rules this country as long as they are accountable and respect the rights of all citizens. We are just against the prevailing situation characterised by looting and misgovernance.”

The Foundation says the ZANU PF government of President Robert Mugabe “is a dictatorship and has murdered tens of thousands of innocent Zimbabweans. Dictatorship is satanic. Refusing to resist dictatorship is resisting God. Christians have not only rights but (an) obligation to remove tyranny.”

The e-mail report says that when ZANU PF was murdering 40,000 Ndebele speaking people, the Zimbabwean Church was silent.

It goes on to say: “When ZANU PF government was invading farms, and embezzling national wealth and abusing human rights, the Church was saying that it has nothing to do with politics. Poverty and massive starvation is God’s judgment to the Zimbabwean Church for ignoring social injustice, helping the poor and political immorality.”

The Foundation’s Collen Makumbirofa says: “I remember six years ago praying that God raise up Church leaders and Christians in Zimbabwe who will challenge wickedness of our political leaders. The State determines whether people live with peace and have a good economy that provides opportunities for many people. Praise God! Now Christian leaders are rising up against political immorality even when the country is completely on ground, with millions starving to death.”

Makumbirofa says the trial for the above-mentioned Church leaders has been remanded to March 5, 2008.

She adds: “The Church has been ravaged by criminal or satanic civil rulers. Please continue to pray for change to take place in Zimbabwe .”