Friday, 25 April 2008

Zimbabwe — for God’s sake

Both English archbishops are calling for prayers this Sunday for Zimbabwe. I’ve no experience of Zim apart from guys at college, and seeing asylum / immigration papers with a priest who came to live in Wycombe after substantial persecution of him and his young family for whistleblowing about his profoundly corrupt bishop.

A couple of years ago I met a family member at a confirmation, who had been minister of Agriculture in post independence Zimbabwe. He was reduced almost to tears as he described his feelings about seeing one of the most fertile places on earth reduced to a dustbowl. The present corrupt and egotistical dictatorship blames everything on the people who used to run the country thirty years ago, when it was bountfiul and prosperous. This isn’t about politics, it’s about people. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe since 1994 has reduced from 57 to 34 for women and from 54 to 37 for men. That corresponds to the life expectancy in England in the 12th Century.

This Sunday, please pray for this beautiful country and its leaders and its future, as it struggles with racism and corruption, ego-politics and famine.
If disaster comes upon us, sword, judgment, pestilence, famine, we will stand before the house of God, and before you, whose name is in this house, and cry to you in our distress, and you will hear and save...

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