Zimbabwe – a growing humanitarian and governmental crisis
There has been a renewed appeal for prayer and a call to act in solidarity from Catholic bishops in Zimbabwe and the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference for the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Pervasive corruption of the regime led by President Robert Mugabe and the flagrant violations of human rights continue to intensify. According to the Bishops, “the suffering population becomes more insistent, generating more and more pressure through boycotts, strikes, demonstrations and uprisings, the State responds with ever harsher oppression through arrests, detentions, banning orders, beatings and torture. …the situation is extremely volatile.”
As Zimbabwe confronts this growing humanitarian and governmental crisis the Bishops ask for ‘concrete action’ to inspire hope and prayers on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe. They insist that a peaceful resolution of the country’s problems can be worked out through national dialogue, respectful negotiation, and the preparation of a new constitution that would safeguard the rights of the country’s people.
As part of their recent Pastoral Letter the Bishops offered a prayer for their country:
God Our Father,
You have given all peoples one common origin,
And your will is to gather them as one family in yourself.
Give compassion to our leaders, integrity to our citizens, and repentance to us all.
Fill the hearts of all women and men with your love
And the desire to ensure justice for all their brothers and sisters.
By sharing the good things you give us
May we ensure justice and equality for every human being,
An end to all division, and a human society built on love,
Lasting prosperity and peace for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.