Dear Zimbabwean Church Leader
Silence is not Holiness- It is Betrayal
I remember vividly a few months ago, I was invited to attend an all night prayer at a certain church. Unemployed youth were called to the pulpit for prayer. When I saw the huge crowd making its way to the front I was not only heart broken but I felt angry -is prayer all that the church could do?
I am a Christian and proudly so.
However, If blame is to be placed for where we are as a nation, the church has it own burden of guilt, a very significant one. The silence of the Church when it mattered most has brought us here.
When Pastor Evan Mawarire was arrested for speaking out against corruption, injustice and poverty I expected that there would be a large number of respected clergy men in solidarity- but in reality, only a handful the likes of Bishop Tudor Bismark (A man who I have high respect for) showed up. It ought not to be.
Silence of the Church is not holiness, it is betrayal.
The pulpit is the most influential place where the change that we seek can start to manifest from.
Has the church forgotten its responsibility of being a moral voice in the nation? Looking into the bible in itself we have many examples of prophets who spoke truth to power, the Nathans Jeremiahs. Has the church forgotten Isaiah 61?
How can the church grow when the very people who are supposed to contribute to its growth are trapped in poverty?
The Church ought to repent
When the economy is in meltdown the church cannot remain silent
When our children are being indoctrinated through pledges in schools the Church cannot remain silent
When corruption and abuse of office is rampant the church cannot remain silent.
When there is police brutality and violence, the church cannot remain silent
When citizens are threatened and unjustly detained the church cannot remain silent.
I know there have been people that have been on their knees day and night inteceeding for the nation. I respect that and I have also been involved in such prayer to the best of my ability but surely the Church must do more.
In Zimbabwe the church has never been separate from the political realities of the day. Those who care to read history should probe into the contribution of likes of Raymond Lamont and others who were critical to the brutality of the then Smith regime and supported the freedom fighters to the point of deportation. The Church through the Christian missionaries were responsible in shaping our true nationalists the likes of Joshua Nkomo and Herbert Chitepo
Its time for the church to speak out.
On the pulpits the gospel of peace must be clear. Those who promote violence must be named and shamed.
The pulpit should build civic consciousness and people should be told of their rights.
The church as a collective should hold government to account
“The Zimbabwe We Want” should not only remain as a document. But revised and distributed to congregants at every sermon.
Nkosi Sikelela iZimbabwe Ishe Komborerai Zimbabwe should be a praise song at every sermon.
The Church should bridge the tribal and racial devides that are unspoken but ferment beneath threatening the future of our nation
All congregants in leadership positions within the church should be taught on ethical leadership.
The Church needs to identify and mentor the Esthers, Nehemiahs, Deborahs and Moses’s who will challenge the status quo build up our nation particularly the youth.
When the children #MaYouth protest, do not castigate them but lead them to vent their anger through non-violence.
Most importantly #ThisFlag should find a place in the church.
One wise man once wrote. “All it takes for evil to triumph is when good men do nothing”
Im calling upon all the men and women whom God has entrusted with with His work. Be worthy of your calling. -SPEAK OUT
Keep Faith, Hope and Love Strong
To God all the Glory belongs.
Your brother in the struggle