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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Indigenous churches urged to transform

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

Indigenous churches have been urged to embrace development opportunities being availed by the government amid concerns that some are still following old doctrines that are anti-progressive.

The Council for Churches in Africa has embarked on a countrywide engagement with indigenous church leaders as part of efforts to encourage them to embrace development opportunities being availed by government.

Council for Churches in Africa president Dr Rocky Moyo and St Luke’s Apostolic Ejiwel Jekenishen Church leader, Bishop Dr Phillip Pferedzayi said a change of attitude among indigenous churches is critical.

“As the Council for Churches in Africa, we are concerned by the increased statistics of churches splitting due to leadership wrangles. We have partnered with government ministries, Angel of Hope Foundation and the ruling party ZANU PF to impact them with entrepreneurship and leadership skills as well as urge them to leave old doctrines that may be outdated and infringe on human rights. We are impressed that we are recording and noting a change of attitude during our engagement meetings,” said Dr Moyo.

“As one of the largest indigenous church having former in 1932, we acknowledge that things have changed and what was the norm then is no longer the same. We have embraced the advice and now we are working on registering some of our organisations as PVOs and build schools and vocational training centres. We are happy that ZOU and the Angel of Hope have come on board offering short courses and entrepreneurship programmes targeting mainly women and the youths,” said Dr Pferedzayi.

The Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Advocate Misheck Mugadza and ZANU PF provincial chairman Cde Tawanda Mukodza commended the cordial relations shared between the church, government and the ruling party.

“As governmen,t we are following the doctrine laid by President Mnangagwa that we should leave no one and no place behind. We are here at the Jekenishen Church to dialogue with the church leaders on how best we can work together towards ensuring that our people have skills that can drive self-sustainability. The Church has a huge following and as such, if they embrace the government programmes then Vision 2030 is attainable.”

“As ZANU PF, we will continue to work with the church. We are here to offer our support and to ensure that they play their part in complimenting government efforts as we journey to Vision 2030,” said Manicaland ZANU PF chairman, Cde Tawanda Mukodza.

Government has since reminded religious groupings to abide by the laws of the land, amid reports that some religious denominations are abusing the rights to the freedom of worship.

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