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expresses concern on restrictions placed upon pastors
Pastors’ Conference (ZNPC)
July 23, 2005
hear the word of the Lord. You say, 'Do not prophesy against Israel,
and do not preach against the house of Isaac.' Therefore thus
says the Lord: 'Your wife shall be a harlot in the city, and your
sons and daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall
be parcelled out by the line, and you yourself shall die in an
National Pastors' conference notes with great concern the restrictions
that are being placed upon pastors as they minister to people who
have been adversely affected by the so called operation clean up.
We have received
reports of the horrific experiences of our members and fellow pastors
who have been harassed, threatened and intimidated for providing
humanitarian assistance to persons displaced by Operation Murambatsvina.
We have in the past made it clear that this operation undermines
the human dignity conferred to all by God as we are reminded in
the Creation story in Genesis. We have also taken the initiative
to work with all well intentioned persons in alleviating the suffering
caused by the operation, including working with government.
we are called by God to minister to all of God's people in particular
those who are in difficult circumstances (the poor, the captives,
the blind and the oppressed -Luke 4:18). As such, we believe that
any restrictions to our ministry is in direct conflict with God's
plan of salvation and our calling. The well being of all people
is at the centre of our pastoral ministry. To accept such restrictions
is to make a mockery of our calling and that of God the Creator
who has called us to his ministry. We deplore any suggestion of
linking our pastoral work to any political party.
In the light
of this calling, we express our disappointment with the action of
the police towards pastors in Bulawayo on the night of 20 July 2005
and similar reports we have received from other parts of the country.
As pastors and churches we have done our work in broad daylight
and should be allowed to continue with their work uninhibited.
wish to express our solidarity with all pastors, priests and clergy
who have responded to the plight of the people who have been adversely
affected by Operation Murambatsvina and assure them of our continued
prayers. We further commit ourselves to continue to pray for our
nation in these difficult days.
We call upon
the government of Zimbabwe to:
from interfering with our pastoral ministry which is undertaken
during broad daylight.
- Stop the
- Respect human
dignity in any implementation of national programmes.
- Hasten the
implementation of Operation Garikayi and ensure that those who
have been returned to the rural areas are protected.
- Take seriously
the concerns of the Zimbabwe people who are suffering as result
of government policies
As we stated
in our press statement on 30 May 2005, we do the same now: Those
who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who help the
poor honour Him. (Proverbs 14:31)
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