Touch Gandiya and you touch us all, SA Bishop warns Kunonga

A South African Anglican Archbishop, who witnessed first hand the violation of religious rights of worshippers in Zimbabwe last week, has spoken out against the violence unleashed by deposed Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and his supporters.

The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, raised concern that Kunonga’s pro-Mugabe breakaway faction was being “helped to steal church property without recourse.”

Makgoba was part of the delegation that visited Zimbabwe last week with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

“On (last) Monday our walk of witness moved from Harare to Manicaland. We experienced the reality of Kunonga’s campaign of destabilization and dispossession. The majority of Anglicans were worshipping in shabby places while their churches stood locked. In Mutare a group held placards and refused us entrance into St John’s Cathedral. At the historic St Augustine’s Mission, Penhalonga, near Mutare, another group held more placards and blocked the entrance to the Mission.

We abandoned our cars and walked up the hill to the Mission. We prayed with the sisters and the faithful in all areas we visited. In each place, those who protested against us were in the minority, and the majority received us with great joy,” Makgoba said.

“During our visit the atmosphere was a mixture of deep despair yet strong emergent hope. Perhaps it is best summarised in my words to the people gathered at the worship service in Harare: if God is on our side, who can be against us; and nothing can separate us from his love, not even persecution and immense trial. So we can take heart.”

Makgoba expressed solidarity with the rightful Anglican leader in Zimbabwe, Chad Gandiya, and his congregation.

“In South Africa’s bleakest moments under apartheid, we were held and encouraged by solidarity visits. If those who persecute Zimbabwean Anglicans touch Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare, they touch all Southern African Anglicans,” he said.

Post published in: Africa News

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