Church counsels politicians ahead of dialogue

The three Church Mother bodies have asked political leaders to swallow their pride and commit to the national dialogue process that is set to put the country on a new path of forgiveness and peace building this festive period.

In a statement signed by leaders from the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), the Church called on leaders to emulate Jesus Christ, who accepted to be born in a manger, despite being God’s only son.

The Church prayed that the celebration of the birth of Christ would renew the hearts of all Zambians and awaken in them a deep desire to build a better country where there would be genuine love for each other and solidarity regardless of one’s tribe, political affiliation and creed.

“As the nation prepares itself to embark on a process of national dialogue and reconciliation, we upon all stakeholders to pray for the gift of true peace in our families, communities, work-places and in our country. May the celebration of the birth of Christ, the Saviour renew our hearts and awaken in us a deep desire to build a better country where there will be genuine love for each other and greater fraternity and solidarity regardless of one’s tribe, political affiliation and creed, a Zambia that will guarantee and bring joy and hope to everyone. This will not be possible unless we cultivate a culture of true dialogue that is aimed at genuine reconciliation at personal, communal and national level,” the statement read.

“As Jesus humbled himself by accepting to be born in a manger, we call upon our political leaders to swallow their pride and remain committed to the series of talks that are geared to set this nation on a new path of forgiveness, peace building and national cohesion. We also call upon all Zambians to actively participate in this process and render their material and spiritual support. We believe that the birth of Jesus signified a new beginning in human history, an event that transformed the world and opened the way to salvation. Let us ensure that the forthcoming national dialogue and reconciliation process will truly become a new beginning towards building a more unified, peaceful and prosperous Zambia.”

The Church Mother bodies also called on Church leaders to preach the message of God’s love for all humanity this festive period.

“There are so many issues our people are going through, among them economic hardships, poverty, lawlessness, crime and moral decay in their communities. These are just some of the many challenges our people are faced with on a daily basis. While some are up to the challenge by doing everything they can to survive under such circumstances, others are tempted to give up on life because the burdens are too much for them to bear. This Christmas period is the time the Church should utilize to remind Christians that God’s love through his son Jesus Christ is greater than the challenges they are facing,” the Church Mother bodies stated.

“Jesus came in human form by being born around this period to save humanity by dying for our sins. Let us therefore, as Church preach the good news of love that covers all obstacles people face. It is also an opportune time for members of the Church to express their God inspired love for the poorest of the poor and all those who are in need. They can do this by providing food to the hungry, clean water to those who are thirsty, clothing to those who are naked, shelter to the homeless as well as visiting and praying with the sick and those in prison.”

The statement also called on men and women in uniform to carry out their duties professionally in their quest to provide security to both citizens and the nation at large.

“Our emphasis is on the Zambia Police who are entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining law and order. It is common knowledge that there are a lot of undesired scenes around this period which put the lives of law-abiding citizens at risk. We are aware of what is expected of you in ensuring that you maintain peace during this season. We appeal to you to remain professional and ensure that human dignity and human rights are respected. By this we are not condoning lawlessness for such behaviour is not of God,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the Church Mother bodies called on Zambians not to waste their lives this festive season.

“To the general citizenry, Christmas is about Christ, nothing more and nothing less. Christmas is not about involving our lives in activities that leave us weak and vulnerable such as over-drinking and substance abuse. Our appeal, therefore, is that citizens should celebrate Christmas with responsibility. Let us take care of our families and loved ones. Let us avoid spending all we have and forgetting about the needs of tomorrow. We should always remember that we have responsibilities waiting for us tomorrow such as paying for our children’s school fees, bills to settle and many other things which we are responsible for. Instead of spending everything on luxuries and less important things, let us reflect on the real meaning of this period. Christmas is about the gift God offered to humanity through the giving of his son Jesus Christ, the One who shed His blood at Calvary and paid the full price for our sins so that we might experience eternal life with him by placing our simple faith and trust in his work on the cross,” read the statement.

         

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