The life of religious politics in Zimbabwe
By Scott A Morgan, Political Fail Blog
When one generally hears about the situation regarding Zimbabwe there are several thoughts that come to mind most immediately. There have been problems with an Independent Media surviving under severe Government Regulation, Members of the Judiciary who dare show any form of Independent Thought are forced to retire, Minority Farm Owners have had their farms seized under a controversial yet ineffective reform program and the LGBT Community itself has been referred to as “worse than dogs”.
One area of concern that has fallen under the radar among the Economic and Political Crises is the situation within the Church. It is sad to say but the Political Differences that have sometimes turned violent have also reared their heads within the Church in Zimbabwe as well. The first record incident of this was back in 2005 by a Group called Solidarity Peace Trust.
The Group is comprised of Clergy Members from both Zimbabwe and neighboring South Africa. In 2005 the group paired Ministers from various Denominations in South Africa and paired them with Churches from the denominations in Zimbabwe. The report that followed had a very chilling title that was self-explanatory. The Title of the report which is available online is “The Suffering Church of Zimbabwe”.
The situation in Zimbabwe regarding Freedom of Religion is so dire that the current Archbishop of Canterbury is reportedly planning on visiting the country next month. The Archbishop is planning on putting to an end the current campaign ongoing against the Church in the County. He has also asked for a Meeting with President Mugabe as well during the visit. Although there has been no official reply yet from the Office of the President there is a fear that Mr. Mugabe could use the meeting yet again to launch another diatribe against the British Government.
Meanwhile in the Anglican Church there is a schism underway. There is evidence that indeed shows that Priests currently loyal to President Mugabe have the protection of the Police Force and have forced some parishioners that are loyal to the Official Diocese in Harare and outside the Capital to worship outdoors. In fact in a Letter addressed to President Mugabe Archbishop Warren states: “ We are convinced that the unmerited, unjust and unlawful persecution of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe damages further the good name and reputation of the Republic of Zimbabwe and results in untold and unnecessary additional suffering for many thousands of people.”
This schism occurred back in 2007 when the Anglican Church decided to allow Homosexuals to become priests. The Bishop of Harare then declared himself an Archbishop and left the Church with the Blessing of President Mugabe. This is just one of many instances when Party Politics have made their way inside the Church in Zimbabwe since the 2002 Elections. However the divisions inside the Church have not made the International News Headlines for whatever reason.
It is about time that it has done so……
The Author Comments on US Policy Focused Towards Africa and Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet. Confused Eagle can be found at confusedeagle.livejournal.com