In solidarity with people and churches of Zimbabwe
A voice “on behalf of the most vulnerable”
(LWI) - Joining in prayer with the people of Zimbabwe, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the World Methodist Council expressed solidarity of their “yearning for the realization of their human rights, for justice and for physical and economic security” in an open pastoral letter to the churches and people of Zimbabwe.
Condemning the use of violence against those protesting the “failure of governance structures” to protect the Zimbabwe people from “deteriorating” conditions, the four church organizations say they have heard Zimbabweans’ cries for justice. They also strongly condemn “sexual abuse and violence against women activists.”
The letter specifies particular concern about “the mistreatment of political activists and other advocates for human rights,” economic and health care challenges exacerbated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, among other failures as the country cries out for “effective accompaniment.”
Finding encouragement in the ongoing ministry of churches in Zimbabwe and their steadfast hope in Jesus Christ, the church organizations pledged to continue advocating with member churches for justice, dignity and protection of Zimbabwe’s human rights. “May your voice continue to be raised on behalf of the most vulnerable.”
“Earlier this year a delegation of the LWF, including the General Secretary visited Zimbabwe to learn first-hand about the situation in the country and to meet the people and churches there," said Isaiah Totoitich, LWF’s Head of Global Advocacy. “We shall continue to stand with them as they work together to address the challenges currently facing them and build their country on foundations of justice for all, in particular those who are marginalized and oppressed.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe joined the LWF in 1963 and has close to 300,000 members. It is part of the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) and has its headquarters in Bulawayo, the second largest city in the country situated 440 km southwest of the capital Harare.