Today in Zimbabwe the Archbishop of Canterbury preached to thousands. His message as one of solidarity and support to a community where the president has been responsible for persecuting Anglicans and where the Church is battling serious divisions.
Brian Hungwe of the BBC reports that Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, a renegade ex-communicated bishop who is a staunch ally of President Mugabe, has evicted pastors and sisters loyal to the recognised Bishop of Harare, Dr Chad Gandiya, from the entire diocese properties around the country.
He has been armed with an interim Supreme Court order, granting him access to the church buildings until the matter has been finalised.
The archbishop said in his sermon:
“In your faith and endurance, you have kept your eyes on that open door when the doors of your own churches have been shut against you. You have discovered that it is not the buildings that make a true church but the spiritual foundations on which your lives are built. And as we together give thanks for the open door that God puts before us, we may even find the strength to say to our enemies and persecutors,’The door is open for you. Accept what God offers and turn away from the death-dealing folly of violence.'”
The Right Reverend Nick Baines (Bishop of Bradford) writes in his blog
’The utterly corrupt and very ex-Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, has described the Archbishop of Canterbury as “an irrelevance” as Rowan Williams begins his visit to Zimbabwe. Just how deluded do you have to be to come out with something like that in the face of Zimbabwe’s madness?’
He goes on to say ‘The cry for justice and mercy will not ultimately be silenced.’
And the faith and endurance of the people of Zimbabwe will not be quenched.