In a “Statement of National Dialogue” issued 8 January, the Council of Churches in Zambia, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, and Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops stated there can be no peace without justice in Zambia.
“True dialogue means a change of heart, attitude and behavior,” the statement reads. “It is a project, an ongoing process and effort.”
Lack of peace hurts everyone, especially the weak, elderly, the poor, women and children, the statement continues.
“It hurts us Christians because we are essentially brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ who identifies himself with the same poor and the suffering,” the text reads. “Despite the public pronouncements that Zambia is a peaceful country, the reality on the ground is different due to many acts of injustice, a growing culture of corruption, incidences of violence and utterances out of deep-seated hatred.”
The religious leaders urge political leaders to stop insulting each other or anyone who does not agree with their political opinion: “These leaders of political parties must restrain themselves and their members from making inflammatory or irresponsible statements.”
The statement also expresses sadness at the loss of lives from a recent outbreak of cholera in Lusaka and other parts of the country.
“We pray for God’s peace, comfort and encouragement during this time of national crisis,” the statement reads. “We pray for the various teams working on the ground to fight the cholera outbreak so that this may be overcome quickly and life may be restored to normal.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Council of Churches (WCC).