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Voices from a solidarity visit to Zimbabwe

Voices from a solidarity visit to Zimbabwe

© Claus Grue/WCC

25 May 2017

A delegation of church leaders from three continents led by the general secretary of the World Council of Churches was invited on a solidarity visit to Zimbabwe 17-20 May. The purpose of the visit was to show support for the churches in Zimbabwe in their peaceful efforts for the well-being of the people of Zimbabwe, and their work for a national dialogue with the government, political parties and other organizations.

The visit was initiated by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, which has 26 member churches representing more than 80 percent of the population.

Below are some quotes that reflect feelings and voices from the visit:

Bishop Atle Sommerfeldt, Church of Norway
It has been very inspiring to see the energy and the commitment of the leadership of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches. For me personally it has also been a re-encounter with the resilient and vibrant people in the midst of a struggle against economic deprivation and political challenge. And it was great to experience all the choirs in the ecumenical service giving transcendence.

Dr Mogens S. Mogensen,
We seem to have come to a very crucial time in the history of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and in the history of the country. I have been impressed to see the commitment of the church to participating in the development of society. I've seen the significance of the unity of the church in contributing to unity, peace and reconciliation.

Prof. Dr Isabel Phiri, deputy general secretary of the World Council of Churches
This solidarity visit has been a success in strengthening ecumenism in Zimbabwe. I very much appreciated the opportunity to worship with 26 member churches and to pray together for the country. Access to political leaders from both sides confirmed that the church has a role to play in building the future.

Bishop Faindi of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe Eastern Diocese
We had an opportunity to share ideas and experiences in the light of the challenges that the world is facing today. Issues like hunger, wars, displacements and gender justice are things we as a church are called upon to address, and to make life livable for each human being.

Rev. Dr Japhet Ndhlovu, United Church of Canada
From us as a member church, we consider the visit relationary. It strengthens our relationship with Zimbabwean churches in a time when they seek a better future for the country. It is important to stress that Zimbabweans are not alone, which aligns with our creed: "We are not alone".

WCC member churches in Zimbabwe