The Solution to the Zimbabwe Crisis: Ecumenism!

Forget bilateral talks. Forget military action. To get Zimbabwe’s electoral crisis fixed, there is only one solution.


(Christian Today) Church and community leaders from across Africa and beyond will come together next week in Johannesburg for an international ecumenical summit on Zimbabwe.

Entitled “Overcoming Fear by Faith: Churches in Solidarity with the People of Zimbabwe”, the meeting will be hosted by the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa and the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, in cooperation with the Council for World Mission (CWM) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

The summit is an expression of the Churches’ “profound” concern about the deepening political, economic and humanitarian crises in Zimbabwe.

“It reflects not only a recognition that fear and intimidation have become alarmingly common features of Zimbabwe’s political landscape, but it also demonstrates the hosts’ shared conviction that God calls Christians not to be overcome by fear, but to overcome fear through the exercise of a courageous faith,” said organisers.

The 14 – 17 July gathering will therefore explore ways in which churches can bring their faith to bear on the quest for justice, peace and reconciliation in Zimbabwe in practical ways.

The programme will commence with an ecumenical service of worship at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Benoni. The Moderator of the Council for World Mission, the Rev Dr Roderick Hewitt, will preach at this service.

Following the opening worship, participants will meet at Willow Park Conference Centre in Benoni. The summit will feature keynote addresses by dedicated human rights activist Prof John Mkumbe, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Zimbabwe, and the Rev Dr Allan Boesak, one of the region’s most prominent theologians and a Fellow of the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology at the University of Stellenbosch.

Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, President of the SACC and Executive Director of Research at the University of South Africa, will lead morning Bible Studies, and the Rev Susan Matale, General Secretary of the Council of Churches in Zambia, will conduct the closing worship service on Thursday afternoon.