THE Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says homosexuals need Jesus Christ and that the church should pray for them.
He told journalists in Kitwe yesterday that ‘gay people need the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ just like anyone else. The Church should therefore pray for them’.
Bishop Welby, who is head of the Anglican church, did not give his church’s specific position on homosexuals but said the church is still consulting on the matter.
The Anglican Church has been split on the issue of ordaining gay priests.
He said the church has an obligation to pray for homosexuals and that prayer is important to a Christian.
“We are trying to listen to what God is telling us on this matter as a church,” Bishop Welby said.
He, however, said there is need to treat everyone with respect and dignity.
“Homosexuality is a global issue, we need to treat others with respect and dignity. It is a human rights issue,” the bishop said.
Bishop Welby also said it is sad that evil-minded people use poverty, unemployment and religion to cause conflict in Africa.
And speaking at a church service at Cathedral of St Michael and All Angels Church in Kitwe, Bishop Welby called on the Church to pray hard so that it can have a positive impact on society.
He said reconciliation is a gift from God for Christians to live in harmony.
“Prayer is what renews our hope as Christians. Reconciliation is important; we need to learn how to love one another.
“We must be a church that loves one another, a church that reconciles with one another, we must be peacemakers. The church should be the unifying factor in communities,” he said.
Bishop Welby urged members of the Anglican Church in Zambia to be faithful witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to lead by example in their daily lives.
“Going to church does not make you a Christian. Being in church does not make you a Christian, otherwise even benches were going to be Christian. It is knowing and loving Jesus Christ that makes us Christians,” he said.