Friday, June 20, 2008

International Christian leaders call for a season of prayer for Zimbabwe.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) in a release dated June 18, has called on the United Nations to end the violence in the African country of Zimbabwe, and for free and fair elections there. The WCC has invited its member churches to pray for Zimbabwe on Sunday, June 22, as the beginning of a season of prayer for the people and government of the country.

Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board, is encouraging Brethren to join in this season of prayer for Zimbabwe.

In a letter to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, the WCC expressed continued concern about the situation in Zimbabwe and asked the world body to utilize its resources to assure an end to pre-election violence and a free and fair election on June 27.

The letter from WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia states the dismay of the council and its member churches "at the news of the brutality meted out by police and other government forces in Zimbabwe," and refers to President Robert Mugabe's statement last week that he would "go to war" rather than acknowledge an election victory by the opposition.

Churches in the region have reported on atrocities. An extensive dossier has been compiled by the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa about the situation in Zimbabwe, prepared under the leadership of Allan Boesak of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. The WCC said that the dossier presents graphic details of violence.

The WCC is appealing to the government of Zimbabwe to assure free and fair elections, allowing for election monitors, and the distribution of food and other humanitarian aid, and is calling on the churches in southern Africa to initiate a healing and reconciliation process immediately following the elections.

Go to for the text of the WCC letter to the United Nations. Go to for more about WCC member churches in Zimbabwe.

Source: 6/20/2008 Newsline Extra

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