Churches pledge continued support to Zimbabwe

By staff writers
March 17, 2007

Danisa Ndlovu, president-elect of Mennonite World Conference and bishop of the Zimbabwe Brethren in Christ Church, has urged people around the world to support and pray for the people of Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe has lamented what it says is the "continued criminal and sinful repression of students by the state, using brutal force", following the arrest of 21 students in the second city of Bulawayo earlier this week.

Among those arrested was the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe's vice chairperson, Lawrence Mashungu, seven SCMZ members and several Zimbabwe National Students Union general councillors.

"It is of serious concern that these arrests are preceded by numerous other arrests of students and civic society activists in the demand for the opening up of democratic space and justice. Students have been arrested on several incidents in Bulawayo and Harare within the past two months," said the students' statement.

In Geneva, the general secretary of the World Student Christian Federation, Michael Wallace declared: "This action raises concerns for the federation, whose members are encouraged to live out their faith by challenging injustice in their own contexts."

He added: "It is the freedom of groups like SCM that guarantees the functioning of civil society and guards against the perpetration of injustice", reported Ecumenical News International.

Mennonite World Conference is organizing an international 'Koinonia delegation' to visit the Zimbabwean Brethren in Christ Church, from 17-29 August 2007. The primary purpose of the team will be to stand in visible communion with the Zimbabwe church at what they describe as "this time of unabated duress".

Delegation members will divide in two groups to visit several BIC communities, and then participate in the church’s annual national assembly, from 22-26 August.

The host church has requested that the delegation provide workshops on conflict transformation and peacebuilding. MWC Associate General Secretary Pakisa Tshmikia is organizing and will lead the team visit to Zimbabwe.

Mennonite World Conference is a communion of Anabaptist-related churches.

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