Proposed New National Place of Prayer
Proposed New National Place of Prayer

The establishment of the “House of Prayer for All Nations Tabernacle” by President Edgar Lungu using taxpayers’ money is not an indication that he loves and appreciates God. We all love and appreciate God, but it would not be acceptable for us to openly ‘steal’ the people’s resources for use in demonstrating how much we love and appreciate Him.

If he loves and appreciates God more than anyone else, he should have established the Tabernacle using his personal resources before his ascendance to the presidency or after his term or terms of office as Republican president.

Religious establishments are essentially non-governmental institutions and, therefore, I do not believe the President has the constitutional right or mandate to create any such institutions at taxpayer expense.

And the name of the Tabernacle implies that countries (or ‘Nations’) worldwide will be congregating in Zambia for prayers. Is that one of the President’s intentions for establishing the Tabernacle?

Separation of Religion and the State:

Freedom of worship, as well as the choice of one’s religion, is one of the basic individual rights which every government leader in Zambia needs to formally recognize and safeguard. How­ev­er, there is an apparent need for our beloved country to introduce laws designed to keep religion out of political and public affairs, laws which should ban religious activities and programs which have the poten­tial to indoctri­nate credulous members of society.

Obviously, this does not imply that religious denomina­tions in Zambia should not freely advocate their values, beliefs, and causes as interest groups. In a truly democratic society, any and all societal groups should have a right to seek to be heard in govern­mental decision-making, and to articulate their demands on the government and society’s other groups and institutions.

The rationale for pieces of legislation designed to keep religion out of politics, educa­tion, and other public spheres of society that wholly or partly fall under the auspices of the govern­ment is to forestall the potential disruption of public order and socioeco­nomic activities by cliques of fanatics from any of our beloved countr­y’s religious denomina­tions.

Such legislation is particular­ly critical for our country, where efforts by the govern­ment to break the bondage of the majority of citizens to misery, want, and destitution is likely to be thwarted partly by violent clashes among religious sects.

We could, therefore, do well to pick a leaf from a 1947 United States Supreme Court dicta, which expand­ed the scope of the First Amend­ment clause pertaining to “The Establish­ment of Religion” to include the doctrine of “Separation of Church and State.”

According to the dictates of the doctrine, a local or the Federal govern­ment cannot do any of the follow­ing, which are cited in a book by J. M. Burns and J. W. Peltason:

(a) Set up a church, pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another;

(b) Force or influence a person to go or not to go to church, or force him or her to profess a belief or a disbelief in any religion;

(c) Levy taxes to support any religious activities or institu­tions, whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion; or

(d) Openly or secretly partic­ipate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa.

And, to reiterate, we need to consider prohibit­ing the formation of religious-based political par­ties. Also, we need to prohibit reli­gious groups from making contemptuous remarks about the beliefs and/or practices of other religious denominations. If not prevented, there is no doubt that alterca­tions among our country’s religious groups concerning the truth­fulness of their different faiths will eventually trigger very serious con­flicts in the country.

In all, I am confident that religious institutions in Zambia will conti­nue to provide the moral and spiritual direction to our nation in an era that has been high-jacked by unprece­dent­ed violence and moral decay, and to articulate the people’s demands on the government for a more democratic, more peaceful, more prosperous, and more egalitarian socie­ty.

Zambia Should Be a “Secular State”:

What Zambia needs, therefore, is a secular state that genuinely recognizes and safeguards each and every individual’s freedom of worship and the freedom to choose one’s religion. At the same time, we should actively DISCOURAGE or PROSCRIBE the following in a deliberate effort to forestall the potential disruption of public order and socioeconomic activities by cliques of fanatics from any of our country’s religious denominations:

(a) The use of public funds by a local or the national government to set up a Church, Mosque, a Synagogue, or any other house of worship, and/or to provide any form of support to any given religious group, institution or activity;

(b) Official participation by government leaders in the affairs of any given religious group or institution, or official participation by any given religious leader or group in political or governmental affairs;

(c) The use of a religious platform by any individual or group of individuals to form a political party;

(d) The use of a religious platform by any individual to seek a leadership position in any of the three branches of government – that is, the legislature, the judiciary or the executive;

(e) Inclusion of denominational religious subjects in the curricula of schools funded by the government, except studies relating to world religions without delving into the content of their sacred books;

(f) Subjection of candidates for election or appointment to public office to a religious test expressly or otherwise requiring them to declare their religious affiliations;

(g) Desecration of any religious symbols or objects by any member or members of Zambian society;

(h) Religious sermons or statements by any individual or group of individuals belonging to any given religious grouping or denomination which are contemptuous to, or are designed to slight, other religious groupings or denominations; and

(i) Conducting of religious sermons or ceremonies involving ten or more people in non-religious public arenas without a police permit, or conducting such activities on public modes of transportation that are not chartered by groups involved.

Some of these safeguards would, of course, need Parliament to prescribe the nature or kinds of punishment that would be meted out to convicted violators.

With the foregoing kinds of safeguards, a government does not need to place any restrictions on the construction of Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, Temples, or any other houses of worship, or have restraints on the expansion of any religious denomination.

If we fail to enact pieces of legislation designed to protect government institutions and the political arena from the influences of religion, we could actually be sowing the seeds of deadly religion-based conflicts.

The Nature of a “Secular State”:

In the ensuing paragraphs, I wish to briefly discuss the nature of what is referred to as a “secular state,” much of which I have excerpted and adapted from Wikipedia.

Essentially, a “secular state” is a nation-state or a country that purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. It also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of the nature of their religious beliefs, and it does not have an official religion.

In other words, the term “secular state” refers to a nation-state or a country that honors individuals’ freedom of worship, prevents religion from interfering with governmental decision-making, and excludes it from the realms of governance and/or the exercise of political power.

And laws in such a nation-state or country protect each and every individual (including religious minorities) from discrimination on the basis of one’s religious affiliation.

Basically, a “secular state” is not an atheistic nation-state or country that officially denies the existence of God. In some “secular states” (such as Thailand and Turkey), there can be a dominant religion, while in others (such as India and Lebanon), there can be great religious diversity.

Some “secular states” may even have de facto official religions (such as Indonesia and Peru), where some government officials have to belong to certain religious denominations even though the country and its government does not officially support any religious denomination.

The author, Mr. Henry Kyambalesa, is a Zambian academician currently living in the City and County of Denver in the State of Colorado, USA. He is the Interim President of the Agenda for Change (AfC) Party.

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57 COMMENTS

    • The article makes a lot of sense to people with power to understand, sorry mate its too much for you.

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    • Will we be able to eat the chickens that Fr Bwalya sacrifices there? Hope he will use village chickens they taste better

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    • Of all useless advise Lungu has got from idyots like Kaizer Zulu, T.B Josua and others, this is the worst ever styupidity idea a married man can be fooled as a gimmick to winner elections.
      Which “nations” they refer to? Is St. Iginitius where Sata used to go to pray too dirty for Lungu? What about the Kingdom Hall in woodlands where Mwanawasa went for his Jehova witness meetings, who really cared? Edgar lifontini sana mwe, amano yaso kutumpa.

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    • You see how empty the parking lots are in the picture, and that is exactly the architect is predicting.

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  1. The author is demon possessed, may God delivery you.Secular state is a unstarter, Europe, America must learn to respect, accepted our Culture as Africa. From secularism it will be homosexuality etc
    For once pls leave us alone. To our President His Excellence E.Lungu may Jehovah God bless you.

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    • It is quite ironic that you can claim Christianity as part of our culture, when it was in fact introduced by the same people you are lambasting. This is classic ignorance at its best

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    • Bo papa..niwe nani to judge the author of this article?the author of this article is spot on.i give it to him. This is the type of discussions we ought to be having.he has freedom of expression. You the some credulous people he made reference to. So rudimentary in thinking and indifferent to diverse views. Easily indoctrinated. My guess is you call yourself a Christian,but were in the Bible are u taught to judge? My honest opinion is you jst a dimwit,clueless,naive cadre as evidenced by your shallow rebuttal of the author. Grow a brain

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    • Iwe ka @Papa, your religion is actually a Middle-Eastern spiritual persuasion that you think is Afrikan. People like you are so myopic, so parochial it is not even funny. Shake your little egg-shaped brain, read up on the history of whatever you believe in (YES – IT IS HISTORY) and get to learn how it is you came to be where you are with a small-sized brain by choice!

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    • Primitive man. There is so much sense in what the author has said. Take time to seek the advice of learned people to explain to you how critically important it is to have a secular state. Lungu and *****s like you are now desperately trying to use religion for political gain seeing you have lost people’s trust. It is mind boggling how you want to use God’s name in vain.

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    • Ine uluse. Our people are distraught because of lack of knowledge. You are a serapis worshiper and you say that is our culture. Chi alexander the barbarian chamiletela the ptolemaic rulers of kemet and they steal and impose themselves on our people and create such religions and today you say its our culture. Umusungu temunobe. The sooner you see this, the better. Am a flame thrower, a soldier for the freedom of our people. If i see a white baby i might just steal it and sell it into slavery.

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  2. Never mind we know how to handle our politicians, when he leaves office we shall rename it to international prayer conference center, we could host international prayer meetings from there at a fee,

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  3. Ka kopala ngoni niwebo ichipuba,look where yo president is taking us,which destine?constructing a nation house of prayer when the pastor fo the same church president Lungu still insults pipo in public calling them”atase,kutumpa,what kind of pastor is he,thank God that churches mother bodies in zambia have rejected this nonsense,where fools,demons and fake christians shall be meeting to pray to their sangomas whom they believe shall help them win elections,we true christians have rejected this fake worshipping,rather our great God is demonishing yo sangomas through our genuine prayers in our churches build by God’s children themselves

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  4. This article really shows that the writer is a promoter of the works of the devil. We cannot keep God out of our affairs. “Without God, we can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Henry Kyambalesa, it is obvious that you have to come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. You don’t even know on whose behalf you are speaking. The many years you have spent in America have wreaked havoc to your spiritual condition. From your article, I can see that you have an ambition to become president of Zambia. God will not allow any advocator of satanic laws to rule this nation. My brother, kiss good bye to becoming president of this country because we know who the likes of you are representing. How sad!!!

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    • Have ever seen this devil you speak of? The guy does not even exist in the bible. We can not let figments of people’s imaginations rule a nation. Christianity is a personal decision. At one time, when people wanted to Jesus to take over as king, he withdrew to a mountain (John 6:15). Even the man you claim to worship was not interested in running Government. So, if at the time he was on earth, he wanted a circular state, what makes you think he has since changed his mind and he is now interested in running some third rate country in some hellhole called Africa?

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    • Have ever seen this devil you speak of? The guy does not even exist in the bible. We can not let figments of people’s imaginations rule a nation. Christianity is a personal decision. At one time, when people wanted to Jesus to take over as king, he withdrew to a mountain (John 6:15). Even the man you claim to worship was not interested in running Government at the time he was alive. So, if at that he did not want a circular state, what makes you think he has since changed his mind and he is now interested in running some third rate country in some hellhole called Africa?

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    • The devil’s chains of bondage are choking you Splaka. Allow Christ to break them and you will be free and find rest and peace (2 Corinthians 4:4). Ask me how and I will be glad to help you my brother/sister.

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    • CHILD OF GOD? SO WHAT ARE WE? SPAWN OF THE DEVIL? THE ARTICLE IS WELL WRITTEN AND ANY EDUCATED ZAMBIAN WILL SAY SO. WE HAVE SO MANY CHURCHES IN THIS COUNTRY EVEN IN TRADING AREAS. IT IS NOT WRONG FOR THE PRESIDENT TO WANT TO BUILD A CHURCH BUT HE SHOULD DO SO WITH HIS OWN FUNDS. CHILDREN ARE WRITING EXAMS IN THE DARK, HOSPITALS HAVE NO MEDICINES AND YOU THINK SPENDING MONEY ON A CHARADE TO GAIN VOTES IS GOOD? LOOK AT THE FOOD PRICES YOU FALSE CHILD OF GOD. THE LORD IS THE CRY OF THE POOR AND DONOT USE THE NAME OF GOD IN VEIN.

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    • This is not a house of God.
      It is Lungus sacrifice offering to the Devil in order to get elected. The State House sangomas told him that he must build it to confuse Christians and divide them with religion.

      See how well this evil plan is working!

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    • IT IS A COFFIN!

      Celebrating the Death of intelligence in our Government!

      For sure it will be LUNGUs funeral if this swine tries to build it with my Taxpayers money!

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  5. @child of God, I missed it or u lost me. where is the article offensive? satanic? kindly note also where the writer has used inverted commas and try to deceifer the reason he has done that, also does the article sound like a campaign speech?

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  6. I would like to first and foremost acknowledge that my friend and brother has written a well thought article but l think my focus would be on the wastage of the countries resources.First there is no separation of state in most lslamic countries and this only appears to be in countries where majority are Christians.Now the big issue l have is that the separation of Church and state has done more harm than good in countries where such is advocated.Take for instance USA,most of the Pastors will tell you that the moral fiber of this great Nation has been destroyed and only hangs by a thread.
    This issue arises from the fact that people want to hide in the the word secular when in America this nation was founded on Christian principles based on the need to have the right to worship by the…

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    • Beware of false prophets!

      This is a plan by Islamic State to infiltrate and take over Zambia

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    • @Pastor Davies-and-so-on-and-so-forth, you must realize that the countries you cite as having little or no separation of religion and state did not IMPORT their religion like you did. They are traditionally Middle-Eastern. At a distance you think they are Islamic when in fact their CULTURES influence their ways of worship first and foremost. Unlike you, the secularism in most Islamic countries are marked by respect for boundaries of belief and acknowledgement of spiritual realities that in their own unique ways bring them to ethical, moral and noble ends.

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    • USA founded on christian principles kwisa. Where do you read such lies kanshi? Their constitution which is their foundation classified blacks as 3/5 of a human being. See blacks upon the foundation as a country were not even considered humans. Their first president washington was a slave master, exchanging slaves for his molasses deals. Raping black girls. And this is their first president. Today you say a country founded on christian values. Your analysis was good until you started repeating the lies they have fed you. Look only to old africa for morality and culture. Nowhere else. Old africa “alkebulan” is who we are not. Not parot nations of the west we are now.

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  7. Lungu is an extravagant dreamer. This building will be used by Nigerian pastores to collect donations from the duped zambians, all 7000 of them in one sitting. There are hundreds of better uses of those funds that will benefit the country , not this scheme to enrich pastores through donations from the poor sufering zambians.

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  8. Zambia will forever remain a christian nation and we know the devil is not happy. And he we try by all means to demoralised the effort of building a house of prayers by bring satanic articles. You in America leave us alone and our godly president.

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  9. Out of curiosity, the announcement to build this tabernacle was made after the budget had already been presented… So where will the money to build this tabernacle come from since it is not in the budget???

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    • That is the PF way of doing things. Budgeted projects all the time. That is why we have a huge budget deficit with is now being covered with borrowed money. They don’t care about deficits, after all it is not their money and it provides cover for them to steal

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  10. EL believes there are demons in other church buildings like the Cathedral of the Holy Cross hence his idea of constructing his own house of prayer. Just another route for siphoning money into personal pockets. Moreover, you’ll see how the small churches will start fighting for control of the building.

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    • Lungus demons are IN HIS OWN HEAD.

      This nonsense is not going to solve any of our real problems.

      Most dull and USELESS President ever.

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  11. There is nothing satanic about this article some people in zambia think they are more Christian than others the fact is Lungu is using God to play on voters minds we can not be fooled this building idea is just nonsense it is a waste of taxes payers money. He was insulting teachers on the copper belt next day he was in a church in Kitwe what prayers are you talking about?

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  12. Kyambalesa now seems to be traversing a very bumpy road. Always diverting and changing direction. Didn’t envision him as presidential material, too!

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  13. There is nothing wrong for Zambia to be a Christian nation, but there is everything wrong for president Ecl to build a Tabernacle of prayer for all nations using tax payers money. We don’t need it in Zambia. He is being influenced and misled by Bishop Chomba, Bishop Dhlovu and Pastor Sinyangwe with his team. He should have consulted ZEC, ECZ, ICOZ and CCZ before announcing his plans to woo gullible Christians for a 2016 vote. Chagwa has started doing things contrary to norms of Christian faith.

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  14. The money he wants to spend on this Church should be diverted to bail out university students who are failing to meet their needs, or simply buy computers for lacking GRZ schools. This man has so much appetite to abuse tax payers money.

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  15. Build hospitals, schools, houses and colleges instead of a church.

    African leaders has this stupid notion of being seen as good doers by building churches. Another african leader in Central Africa built a huge St Peters Cathedral in his home village – Bokasa made heads for this, but the church did not prevent hunger, civil unrest, illnessness..!

    This is utter *****ic, and selfish of the PF government

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    • Misplaced priorities always keep us from recapturing our lost glory. As s result we are in perpetual bondage to those we try to emulate.

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  16. I THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO USE THE TITHES TO CONSTRUCT THIS TABERNACLE. CHURCHES MAKE A LOT OF MONEY AT EVERY GATHERING THEY MAKE. WHY CAN’T THEY USE THE SAME MONEY?

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  17. Comment: u want EL 2 use his money 2 build th church tht will belong 2 pipo of Zambia & nt tax payers money, let him use taxpayers money 2 build th church kaili ni church yama taxpayers. ngataulefwaya u kuti abonfye tax money mupele ishabawiso.

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    • So you sir endorse using public funds to build churches at the expense of human needs. Even Jesus emphasized meeting human needs like I was naked you clothed me, hungry you fed me. A building is not going to meet people’s need. Mr president is just a steward of our money and he is supposed to use it wisely to enhance people’s welfare if he wants to come back otherwise people are getting desperate now, leaving them no choice but to vote him out.

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  18. Lungu’s intentions are clearly dirty. Henry Kyambalesa is right in many respects because this Christianity we embrace was given to us by the Muzunguz. We are certainly not more Christian than Americans and others.

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  19. MAY GOD FORGIVE ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SAID NEGATIVE WORDS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY AND THE CHURCH,JESUS CHRIST IS ON THRONE..ZAMBIA FOR JESUS CHRIST,ZAMBIA IS COVERED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.
    JESUS CHRIST IS ON THRONE AND KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ZAMBIA…..ZAMBIA FOR JESUS CHRIST
    ZAMBIA FOR JESUS CHRIST,ZAMBIA FOR JESUS CHRIST,ZAMBIA FOR JESUS CHRIST,ZAMBIA FOR JESUS CHRIST

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  20. You devils you have continued attacking ecl s decision its seventhde doing this & hakana hukupepa hh anything to do with God you will fail why bring in the innocent people like tb joshua who is not even zambian just bcoz they left yu out when consulting nosense.this is zambia we cant be following what was there 80 yrs ago good decision mr president

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