Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Prayer service attacked in Zimbabwe

Christians were attacked during a
prayer service in Zimbabwe.
About 500 Christians gathered in the Church of the Nazarene in Glen Norah, Zimbabwe, on April 9, were attacked by 20 armed riot police who fired tear gas into the crowd and stormed the sanctuary armed with batons and rifles.

A recent Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin written for the Australian Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (AEA RLC) reports the Christians were holding a special “Praying for Peace to Save Zimbabwe” church service to commemorate a March 2007 prayer rally in which one participant was shot and killed by police while 100 others were arrested and tortured.

The recent escalation of political violence leading up to elections prompted four bishops, 46 pastors and hundreds of laymen to hold this April 2011 prayer service.

Representatives of President Robert Mugabe have been visiting churches demanding members sign anti-sanctions petitions. Pro-Mugabe congregants are being offered governmental support to start new churches, causing church splits. As an incentive, church leaders are being offered land in exchange for their loyalty.

While Zimbabwe is not on VOM’s list of restricted nations, this serious incident warrants our concern and a call to prayer. Zimbabwe, a state in southern Africa, is suffering under a government which endorses violence and has been accused of human rights violations. Church engagement of the government has often led to intimidation and harassment.

You can help by praying!
  • Pray God will use the opposition to unite the church and deepen the church’s commitment to Jesus Christ.
  • Pray church members will remain faithful to the Word and not cave to political pressure.
  • Pray that amidst the violence, citizens of Zimbabwe will meet the Prince of Peace.
You can read the full bulletin here.

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