Church leaders from Zimbabwe, Central Africa, and Europe have been commenting on President Robert Mugabe’s weakening grip on power.
The Rt. Rev. Chad Gandiya, Bishop of Harare, said on Premier Christian Radio that he is praying for a peaceful transition:
On Wednesday morning we woke up to the news that the Army was in control and that we were to remain calm. And people have remained calm.
[Wednesday] was very quiet, and today it is also quiet. People are going about their normal duties, but obviously people are a little bit sensitive to the situation, but we thank God that there is quietness in the country and in the city of Harare in particular.
As a church, we are concerned that what we are going through is peaceful. We are concerned about violence — nobody wants violence and we are grateful that the authorities at this time are also encouraging us all not to be violent. We are concerned that whatever changes are in store for us, these take place in a peaceful manner.
He told Premier’s John Pantry and Rosie Wright that what happened next in Zimbabwe was anybody’s guess. “The situation is still unfolding, and so people can speculate about this and that, but I think the reality is that the army is definitely still in control,” he said.
“Everybody believes that we can recover and that the jewel will sparkle again,” alluding to Zimbabwe once being called the jewel of Africa.
In a pastoral letter, the Archbishop of Central Africa, Albert Chama, echoed the call for prayer and dialogue issued Nov. 15 by the Heads of Christian Denominations in Zimbabwe. Archbishop Albert, who is also the chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), said that “this sad situation needs more than a political solution. It also needs all people of faith to pray and all citizens to engage in dialogue for the sake of peace and stability in Zimbabwe.”
I am praying for the whole nation of Zimbabwe — its people, its military, its political leaders — that they may find a path forward that leads to the flourishing of this nation and all its people.
To the Church in Zimbabwe: your brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion stand with you in prayer, solidarity and hope. Your faith, courage and persistence in the face of difficult times has long been an example to the world. May God strengthen, protect and guide you as you seek to bear witness to the love of Christ at this deeply challenging time.
The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations have called for prayer for the nation, for calm and peace, and for respect of human dignity. To Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, I pray that these calls are heard in the coming days, weeks and months.
Adapted from ACNS