The Church of Scotland has today issued a call to prayer for Zimbabwe. The Kirk has long historical connections in Zimbabwe and today enjoys an active relationship with the Presbyterian Church which involves exchange visits and volunteer work.
The Reverend Colin Renwick, the convener of the Kirk’s World Mission Council, says: “We have been following the situation in Zimbabwe with deepening concern since the elections 4 weeks ago. We believe that the solution to its heartbreaking crisis must come from within the southern African region. The key role which we can play is to pray for the people, leaders and churches of Zimbabwe – as they have requested.”
Given the high cost of speaking out in Zimbabwe, it is impressive that a strong, united voice has been raised by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop’s Conference. Between them these bodies account for the majority of Zimbabwe’s population.
They have expressed “deep concern over the deteriorating political, security, economic and human rights situation…” Their statement notes that the peaceful environment of the elections has changed; the churches are receiving reports of abduction, torture and intimidation. The economic situation continues to deteriorate rapidly: “there is widespread famine on account of poor harvests and delays in importing maize. The shops are empty and basic foodstuffs are unavailable… hospitals have no drugs or medicines.”
The Church leaders see “a pall of despondency over the nation” and warn that the crisis will get much worse unless something is done, and they call on the international community “to work toward arresting the deteriorating political and security situation.” They call on the electoral commission to release the “true results of the presidential poll”, for an end to the violence and intimidation, and they urge the people of Zimbabwe “to maintain and protect your dignity and your vote.”
Morag Mylne, convener of the Church & Society Council, added: “The Church of Scotland is 100% behind the brave stand of the churches in Zimbabwe. We call on churches throughout Scotland to pray this Sunday for a just and peaceful resolution of Zimbabwe’s crisis.”
• Full story at the Church of Scotland.