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From Church Leaders on Violence and Civil Disobedience

 

From Church Leaders on Violence and Civil Disobedience
 
Press Statement by The Christian Council of Zambia, The Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, and The Zambian Episcopal Conference
 
1 August 1997
 
 

Each year, on the 1st of January, the Pope issues a message to mark the World Day of Peace. Peace is one of the fundamental values that the Church promotes. It is a value that is biblically inspired. In the New Testament, Jesus calls the peacemakers, not only "blessed", but also that they shall be called God’s children. (Matthew 5:9) In this light, it is clear that the Churches cannot condone violence of any kind. The Churches believe firmly that violence begets violence and does not resolve any issues. This press statement is a clear testimony of the Churches opposition to violence.

Violence and Civil Disobedience

    We deeply condemn the violence which was displayed in the capital city on Wednesday 30th July, 1997 which resulted in the arrest and physical injuries of some people and now it is spreading to other parts of the Country. We condemn it in what ever from and whoever was involved because we believe it is destructive to this poor Nation.
  1. We call upon all peace loving citizens to ignore and reject any political leaders or any kind of leaders who advocate any form of violence.
  2. We condemn this violence in the strongest terms and we regret that it can happen in such a Country which is striving to develop itself. We call upon our Police Service to exercise their professionalism and caution in dealing with such situations, as we believe that their duty is to protect life and property and they should desist from unnecessary provocation, which may perpetuate further misunderstanding and violence.

    Attack on the Judiciary

  3. We as a Church observed with sadness the recent attacks on the Judiciary by some Political leaders and some individuals in our Society. We strongly deplore such a situation and we call upon all peace-loving citizens to respect the judiciary since this is the last dispenser of Justice in the Nation.
  4. We call upon all our citizens to respect the judgement passed by the judges whom we regard as highly professional, people of integrity and high calibre which has warranted them to be where they are IN ANY CASE ONLY GOD KNOWS THE REAL TRUTH.

    Inter Party Dialogue

  5. We continue to encourage efforts leading to meaningful and constructive dialogue among the political parties in this Country.

    Press Reports

  6. We believe the press can be an instrument of peace making and Nation building especially in the manner in which they report sensitive issues and happenings in this Nation. We call upon them to be objective and to uphold high sense of morality in their profession.
  7. As Church leaders we call upon all our Christians to join in praying for Peace and stability to prevail in our Nation.

  Rev. V. Sampa-Bredt,   General Secretary- CCZ   Rev. T.K.Lumba,   Executive Director - EFZ   Fr. I. Mwebe,   Secretary General - ZEC