The Church of Scotland has refused to condemn the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, as it fears that could result in Christians living there being persecuted.
The admission came during the first day of the General Assembly yesterday, after the World Mission Council was criticised from the floor for failing to discuss adequately in its annual report the situation there.
When the convener, the Rev Colin Renwick, was invited to condemn the regime, he replied it was the council’s position that to do so could exacerbate the already difficult situation for the local church in southern Africa.
“We’re very conscious that anything coming from the British government is not particularly well received,” he said. “We’re also very conscious that sometimes when assemblies make damning criticisms of governments, they do so believing that they are doing the right thing. This doesn’t always help the churches on the ground in the area concerned, and sometimes, in fact, it can inflame a situation even further.
“So, we walk a fine line, showing solidarity with our partner churches but not making the kind of statements that can complicate a situation.”
The Church of Scotland does not currently have missions in Zimbabwe but is planning to send volunteers if it is judged safe enough.
Full story at The Scotsman.