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Let us learn to tolerate other people's religions

28 Jan 2015 at 09:11hrs | Views
The Zimbabwean constitution clearly calls for the freedom of association; hence, everyone has a prerogative and priviledge to choose which church to worship in without hesitation and fear of victimization by others. Under the tutelage of President Robert Mugabe this has been adhered which has seen the proliferation of different religions, with people spoilt for choice of which religion to choose from and whose teachings suit them.

The main object of going to church is to worship and get blessings from the Most High, our Creator and Deliverer, God. It is everyone's belief that whatever good that happens in one's life, is a blessing from God. As such going to church for worshipping God should not be trivialized or condemned by people who think that their churches are the best as compared to others.

People should applaud the government which came up with the constitution which allows the freedom of association and worship as a way of curbing violence associated with fundamentalist religious groups. Countries which have religious fundamentalist groups who believe their religion most superior end up propagating violence against other perceived inferior religious groups and as such freedom of worship is seriously jeopardized.

In Zimbabwe, we thank the Almighty that such religious fundamentalism is far from our door steps, hence, Zimbabweans should keep on tolerating one another's religious orientation the same way they do in tolerating each other's political orientation.

For that reason it is not proper and unacceptable for some respected heads of churches to spend their time and energy attacking other people's churches as "demonic and being possessed by marine spirits". Hate speech in any church or society is not constructive. When people go to church, their main objective is to hear the word of God and get served from their various misfortunes that they would be going through. They do not need to go to church and listen to sermons that always attack other people's religion to the detriment of our cherished religious tolerance.

Hate speech in churches can create violence thereby affecting the peaceful environment that a country could be experiencing. Countries such as Nigeria have been wreaked by religious fundamentalism pitting Christians and Muslims who have no tolerance of others' religious beliefs. We would not want such happenings to occur in our beloved, Zimbabwe.

Prophet Walter Magaya is a well respected man of God who has of late commanded a large following at his Waterfalls place of Worship near Zindoga Business Centre. People always go down there to hear him preach the word of God and get healed for various ailments. His power to preach and get other people healed through the use of spiritual waters has not been challenged by anyone. As such Prophet Magaya should be applauded and appreciated for spreading the word of God to the poor souls.

However Prophet Magaya has no right to divert his attention from his good work of preaching the word of God to people, to attacking other religious groups. It is not proper for the good prophet like him to call the Vapostori sects as "demonic and being possessed by marine spirits." Prophet Magaya has no power to judge others but he should keep on preaching the word of God to the people.

In the scriptures it is forbidden to judge others as God has only the power to do that. Luke 6 verse 37 says, "Judge   not and ye shall not be judge". And Apostle Paul writing his first letter to the Corinthians 3verse 4 charges that, "When someone says, I belong to Paul and someone says I belong to Apollos, aren't you acting like people without spirit?"

The two verses clearly put Prophet Magaya in the wrong for judging others. He needs to appreciate that being a prophet and having a large following is no passport to prey on other sects' beliefs by condemning what they are doing.

Apostle Paul was clear when he warned the Corinthians that they should not claim to belong to him and others claiming to belong to Apollos as both him and Apollos were servants of God. So prophet Magaya should realize that he is a servant of God and that those leading the Vapostori sects are also servants of God. Going to different churches is only done as a matter of making sure that one chooses his own religious group, hence, there is no need to fear and get ashamed of associating yourself with a certain group of worship. So Prophet Magaya should try to keep on doing a good work of preaching the word of God and desist from assuming the role of judge which belongs to Jehovah, God.

Churches in the country are known for preaching peace, hence, Prophet Magaya should follow suit and preach about peace in the country. Zimbabwe should avoid having churches going up in arms against each other just because they have different opinions on how to worship and praise their Lord.

Zimbabwe is a country which tolerates freedom of association and worship hence all those heading different churches and denominations should stand guided by the constitution so that there is no name calling in religious denominations. Going to different churches does not mean each church has got its own god but all churches subscribe to the only Mighty God, the Creator of the universe and earth.

In actual fact going to different churches is similar to people using different paths and roads when going to fetch some water at a borehole. As such, that does not mean that if other people are using a gravel road and others using a tarred road, they would fetch different type of water from that same borehole. They can use whatever means of transport to get to the borehole but the main objective of fetching water at that borehole would be the same. So it is the same with churches, people go to different religious denominations but the main objective is to worship the same God worshipped by everyone going to church so Prophet Magaya should know that and also learn to tolerate other people's religious groups.

Hanyani Matitemba can be contacted at

Source - Mukachana Hanyani
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