Churches in Zimbabwe issue warning
Statement is ‘strongly worded call for international diplomatic assistance.’by Tim Shenk
A broad coalition of Zimbabwean churches is speaking out against a political crackdown that is under way in their country following disputed national elections on March 29.
Representatives of Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical churches recently issued a joint statement warning that pro-government forces are organizing violence against individuals, families and communities that are accused of supporting Zimbabwe’s political opposition.
“People are being abducted, tortured, humiliated by being asked to repeat slogans of the political party they are alleged not to support, ordered to attend mass meetings where they are told they voted for the ‘wrong candidate’ … and, in some cases, people are murdered,” the churches stated.
Zimbabwe’s Brethren in Christ Church is a member of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, which is one of three church groups that issued the joint statement. The Brethren in Christ Church is a member of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) and a partner of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).
Danisa Ndlovu, the bishop of the Brethren in Christ Church, said his denomination supports the statement. Ndlovu is vice president and president-elect of Mennonite World Conference.
Ndlovu said the statement is a strongly worded call for international diplomatic assistance in resolving Zimbabwe’s political crisis.
It states, “We warn the world that if nothing is done to help the people of Zimbabwe from their predicament, we shall soon be witnessing genocide similar to that experienced in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and other hot spots in Africa and elsewhere.”—Tim Shenk of Mennonite Central Committee
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