Zimbabwe bishop defiant in face of intimidation

The Bishop of Harare has urged Anglicans in Zimbabwe to be vigilant amid reports of intimidation.

Bishop Chad Gandiya said in a pastoral letter that he had received reports of threats to harm rural clergy.

"Do not take these threats lightly," he warned.

"Please report such threats to life to the police and keep us informed. The police are obligated to protect all people without favour.

"We ask all our parishes to be vigilant and to be your brothers and sisters keepers."

Bishop Gandiya urged Anglicans to renounce violence.

"Our diocese condemns all forms of violence and particularly political violence and therefore we urge all the faithful to shun violence," he said.

"It is an affront to God’s all encompassing love and unbecoming of those who claim to know him. Let the whole world know that we are his disciples by our love for each other."

The Anglican Church is awaiting confirmation of a Supreme Court hearing to challenge the seizure of church property by a rogue bishop who was excommunicated and then established his own church.

Zimbabwean Anglicans have been in a wrangle over church property with Nolbert Kunonga for several years and say that police siding with him have disrupted church services.

"In the mean time we encourage you all to persevere in prayer. Continue to uphold in prayer your priests and their families, who together with their local leadership continue to face huge challenges and some of those in the rural areas have had their lives threatened," said Bishop Chad.

"Remember that the price for our freedom in Christ is eternal vigilance. Care for each other especially in these troubled times."

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