With echos of the very recent split within the Episcopal Church in the United States, it has come to our attention through advocates from the UK (John Langlois) that the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe is currently embroiled in a legal battle regarding church properties in Harare. In this instance, the persecution of believers is very disturbing.
The back story on this incident arises from the 2007 departure and subsequent ex-communication of the former bishop of the Anglican diocese in Harare, Dr. Kunonga, and his followers. Dr. Kunonga then set up a new church, called the Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe, appointing himself as Archbishop. In 2008, he obtained a court order allowing the new church to share the church buildings and properties.
Since that time, the legitimate Anglican Church in Zimbabwe (recognized by the Anglican Communion), led by Bishop Chad Gandiya (left), has been under attack from Dr. Kunonga, with the support of police and henchmen, seizing property and breaking up church services. Dr. Kunonga said that his aim is to take control of about 3000 Anglican churches, schools, hospitals and other properties in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Malawi. Because of his close relationship with the Mugabe regime, Dr. Kunonga obtained assistance of the police to evict clergy, teachers and medical personnel from churches, schools and medical centers.
Despite attempts through the courts to obtain justice, the legitimate church has faced multiple delays. Finally, the appeals are slated to be heard by the High Court this year.
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One of the most disturbing trends is how the enemy tries to bring down the Bride of Christ by causing fighting from within. Unfortunately, there have been many instances of persecution and violence. Church members have been tear-gassed, and hit; priests evicted from their homes and falsely imprisoned; among other atrocities.
Please pray with us for peace in Zimbabwe, that true justice will be granted through the three pending cases, and for any reconciliation that is needed. Pray also for the faith of those believers who are being persecuted that they would maintain a Godly witness in every circumstance.
May the Lord bless and keep you in His perfect. . .
Grace and Peace,