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Clergy urges pastors to speak out against human rights abuses


AN Anglican Church clergyman has urged pastors to speak out against human rights abuses in the country.


Father Shonai David Magurupira of Holy Name Anglican Church in Sakubva Mutare said this in an interview with NewsDay.

Father Magurupira said churches should not only be confined to the duty of leading prayer sessions at political gatherings and national events, but should also question the human rights abuses that have seen an upsurge in the violation of citizen’s rights.

His sentiments came soon after government warned the Zimbabwe Catholic BishoPs’ Conference (ZCBC) that men of the cloth should confine themselves to the pulpit and not delve into the political terrain.

“Politics and the church are seamless garments because politics started in the church,” Magurupira said.

He said Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes wanted to find political fault in Jesus so that they could kill him, adding that even King Herod had the same plan, but Jesus based his teachings on brotherly love.

The Anglican clergyman said in Zimbabwe, human rights abuses often manifested themselves during the electoral campaign period, adding that it was not a crime for people to have different political views.

“Pastors should advocate for pastors’ involvement in all government departments and should be involved in the crafting of statutory instruments,” he said.

Human rights defender and Habakkuk Trust chief executive officer Dumisani Nkomo also said churches had a duty to speak out against human rights violations.

“The church needs to be a prophetic voice when people’s rights are being violated as this is a God-ordained institution,” Nkomo said.

Recently, the United States of America and the United Kingdom threatened to slap Zimbabwe with more sanctions citing continued human rights and workers’ rights violations in the country.

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