Monday, February 23, 2009

Message to the churches in Zimbabwe, by AACC

Message to the Churches in Zimbabwe

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

It is with joy and anticipation I write this letter to you just days after the formation of the new consensual Government between the ZANU-PF and the two MDC formations. I sincerely congratulate you for your perseverance in prayer and your relentless efforts to work for lasting solutions to the dire political, social, humanitarian and spiritual situation of your beloved country. Reiterating what AACC last year said in its statement on the power-sharing agreement of September 15, 2008; indeed “the Zimbabwean people are the real heroes in this process and are the first to be honored for their perseverance and relentless quest for peaceful change in Zimbabwe”.

As members of the world-wide Body of Christ, we are called to be a people of hope, and my hope and prayer today is that this ground-breaking step in the political history of Zimbabwe finally will bring real change to the people that for too long have suffered under the yoke of intolerance, unrest and unbearable economic and humanitarian hardships. But we know that the road ahead will be long and difficult. Our thoughts and prayers go to those who are sick in cholera and AIDS, to those lacking food for the day, for the political detainees and for the refugees that have crossed the borders due to the crisis.

We know that the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, can be an effective vehicle for peaceful change in our world. At the same time we painfully acknowledge our many failures to stay true to this God-given ministry of peace: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14) and “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). Therefore, our collective engagement in the Zimbabwe situation calls all of us to a prayerful and humble soul-searching to address our present weaknesses and to empower and reinvigorate the Church again for this life-giving ministry.

In this decisive time for Zimbabwe, our appeal to you, our sister and brothers in Christ, is that you continue to work for unity and peaceful resolution to all the present challenges facing your nation. Your earlier efforts to cross denominational boundaries and bridge political and regional divides have been strong signs of hope for the world outside, and your perseverance and prophetic imagination is still essential.

The 9th AACC General Assembly in Maputo, December 2008, reaffirmed the role of AACC and its members to continue to accompany the situation in Zimbabwe by first and foremost listening to you as our sisters and brothers in Zimbabwe and together work towards a common vision for peace, justice and reconciliation. To achieve this goal we sincerely invite you to give your assistance, guidance and input to the dialogue so that the AACC, its member constituency and ecumenical partner network can play its part.

On January 25, 2009, a Special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Zimbabwe was held, as per the call of the 9th AACC General Assembly in Maputo. As our thanks go to God for answering prayers, we know that prayer must continue to carry this process to fulfilment. Therefore, please be assured of our continuous commitment to pray and work together with you for justice and peace to prevail, for democracy and human dignity to be upheld and for relief and reconciliation to heal this beautiful nation.

Finally, as the new General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches, I would once again like to emphasize our longstanding commitment to accompany you as the Church in Zimbabwe as well as the Zimbabwean people in the rebuilding process that is now to take off. May God Bless Zimbabwe!

[signed]
Rev. Dr. André Karamaga
GENERAL SECRETARY

Cc: - AACC Members
- AACC Members of the General Committee
- Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC)
- Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ)
- Heads of Christian Denominations (HOCD)
- Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA)
- World Council of Churches (WCC)
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