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Opinion / Religion

Church divisions more dangerous than political ones

05 Dec 2019 at 09:13hrs | Views
In recent week's churches in Zimbabwe have displayed a divided tongue in public on key issues concerning national dialogue in the country, its composition and pre-recognition terms.

In generally the first group falls under the internationally aligned Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) which has four main arms that is Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC), Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) and Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA).
 
The second grouping is the African indigenous Churches (AIC) composed of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), Vapositori sects, Family of God Church and others all with origins within the country and Africa hence the indigenous title.

The major differences in mainly on the international and indigenous labels although they might be some cross membership within the ZHOCD and AIC groupings.  

The ZHOCH grouping is often accused to be aligned to the main opposition political party because of its international roots. This body is the one that came up with the sabbatical proposal to suspend democratic elections for 7 years to cool down political tensions in the country. Its other member the ZCBC also recently met the presidium on national dialogue, economical and the health care sector situation. The main breakthrough was the much publicised doctor's moratorium extended to striking doctors.

This week the other grouping AIC also met the presidium at a statehouse event. The indigenous church leaders had a different message stressing on the importance of adhering to the countries institutions thus for national dialogue to commence the leader of the main opposition has to first recognise the ruling of the constitutional court and the presidency of Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Rev Andrew Wutaunashe on behalf of the AIC also affirmed that their organisation of churches as being the one that represents the interests of locals in the country. On the sidelines of the event the leader of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi distanced the body from the calls made by the ZHOCD concerning the sabbatical.

The lines have been drawn in the sand for the church on who represents the views of the majority of Zimbabweans, how to approach the national dialogue process and the pre-conditions that have to be met. In my view the divisions of the churches and habit of meeting the presidium with different proposals and groupings is more dangerous in the long-run that in the political world. The church has a more serious and lasting influence towards society and this approach and divisional makeup will further deepen the divisions in our society as opposed to the current objectives of uniting the nation.

The suggestion I give the body of Christ is that they should all meet as the church and agree to one motion and message before approaching the presidium with conflicting messages.
Stay Blessed

Terence Simbi
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