The Anglican Church has encouraged its members to seriously speak against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), corruption and political oppression.
Zambia Anglican Bishop and Primate of the Council of Anglican Province in Africa (CAPA), Albert Chama said this at the just-ended two-day Anglican 2017 high-profile Provincial Synod held in Gaborone.
The Central Africa Province Synod consists of Anglican bishops from Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and convenes every three years. The main aim of the meeting is to deliberate on diocesan matters in the region.
“Our continent of Africa has been gripped with fear, deaths, ethnic divisions and many more evils one can think of.
The good example is the war in South Sudan where CAPA is trying to use other initiatives to try and bring back peace by talking to all stakeholders,” Chama said.
He urged Bishops, clergy, lay ministers and church leaders to be instrumental in strengthening their role in intentional discipleship and disciple making.
Chama also said the Anglican Church has always been close to observing and addressing social developments in the political arena across Africa, in particular the Sub-Saharan region.
The synod was held under the theme: Intentional Discipleship to the Local Communities in Context, and it sought to strengthen the evangelism component, in expansion of the word of God.
“We have a role to play in raising our concerns in politics, corruption, poor leadership and governance and economic problems in central Africa, but the word of God still stands paramount in changing people’s minds,” Chama said.
The Synod was expected to amongst other agenda items, elect the Synod chairmen and secretaries (House of Clergy and Laity), elect the resolution committee and the royal (presidential) address committee.
However, under a cloud of technicalities, the Synod did not debate a crucial motion calling for ordination of women in the Anglican Church.
“The Synod has deferred some of the motions, but we are yet to decide the way forward as the dioceses of Botswana as the motion is of significant importance to us as a country,” said Bishop Metlhayotlhe Beleme said.
During their stay in Botswana, the Bishops also paid a courtesy call on President Ian Khama where they expressed their gratitude in the way he handled the Zimbabwean political situation.
They further thanked Khama and his government for always openly criticising former President, Robert Mugabe over his poor leadership and governance styles, saying over that, his contribution has freed Zimbabweans.
For his part, President Khama, who is also Anglican, expressed his delight over the visit by the Bishops and urged the church to continue praying for Africa, particularly Zimbabwe for the return of political stability and economic growth.