Zimbabwe Evangelicals Defend Catholics from Government’s ‘Genocide’ Accusations

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Pentecostal leader explains 90 days of prayer for “the Zimbabwe God wants” as Christians lament problems under Mugabe’s successor, President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe, in its 40 years of independent history, has “never enjoyed life.”

And as the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) stands in solidarity this week with maligned Catholic bishops accused of fomenting genocide, its president, Never Muparutsa, told CT the Southern African government is failing to honor its biblical responsibility.

There are too many poor, amid official repression.

The problems predate the presidency of Emmerson Mnangagwa. In 1965, white apartheid settlers declared the independent nation of Rhodesia; however, it was not until 1980 when Robert Mugabe’s violent revolutionary movement achieved universal suffrage.

But failures in economic integration, anti-white racism, and political corruption plagued the renamed nation of Zimbabwe. After nearly three decades in power, an aged Mugabe was overthrown by the military following sustained popular protests in 2017.

Initially lauded across the continent as a pioneering African nationalist, by the end Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Mugabe “a cartoon figure of an archetypal African dictator.”

Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s vice president, was installed as his replacement by the military, and ushered in a new period of hope after he won election in 2018. He passed the National Peace and Reconciliation Act to address the 1983–85 massacres in which up to 20,000 civilians were killed.

But worsening economic conditions led to sometimes riotous protests in January 2019, which were forcibly suppressed by Mnangagwa’s administration, with hundreds arrested. One month later, the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHCD) launched the nation’s first National Leadership Prayer Breakfast to appeal for dialogue.

Zimbabwe’s population …

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