The United Reformed Church (URC) has urged local congregations to take action to support Zimbabweans living in Britain, as its national officers pledge to bring influence to bear on government over the continuing crisis in the southern African nation.
The URC has warned of the gradual “implosion” of Zimbabwe. The Church condemned tactics employed by the ruling ZANU-PF party, and added its voice to those calling for the establishment of a transitional government to negotiate a framework for political and economic recovery.
Simon Loveitt, URC convenor for church and society, introducing a resolution to the Church’s general assembly, meeting in Edinburgh on Saturday 12 July 2008, declared: “We have all watched with growing alarm and disbelief, Zimbabwe gradually imploding. The increasing violence and intimidation by government supporters of its citizens, has been very distressing to witness”.
In response, the URC agreed to ask local congregations to offer hospitality and support to Zimbabweans living among them, and to continue praying for justice and peace to be restored to Zimbabwe.
A delegation will seek to discuss the Church’s concerns with Britain’s Foreign Secretary as soon as possible.
Other British churches are also discussing and coordinating their response ecumenically through Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI).