PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has urged the Church to provide spiritual guidance in the wake of ritual killings and the recent deaths recorded from road traffic accidents.
Mr Lungu has also reiterated his call for the Church to denounce violence and preach peace as the country heads to the elections in August this year.
The Head of State was speaking yesterday when he officiated at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ) at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
“In the wake of the various vices that are confronting our nation, among them ritual killings and the recent deaths caused by road accidents, I appeal to the Church to provide spiritual guidance and firmly stand in the gap for our country to overcome,” President Lungu said.
He urged the Church to intensify efforts to preach peace and love to the Zambian people as it was the foundation on which the country’s forefathers built the nation.
Mr Lungu said the Church should play its role as a messenger of peace by taking advantage of sermons to denounce violence and preach peace in the country.
He urged Zambians against abusing their freedom of speech to cause trouble because the country was known the world over to be an oasis of peace.
Mr Lungu said that Zambia could not afford to lose the peace and stability which it had enjoyed over the years because of selfish political interests.
He said peace before, during and after the elections was important if the nation was to record development.
President Lungu commended the RCZ for its role in the health and education sectors in the 15 schools and two hospitals it managed in Eastern Province, which were supplementing Government’s efforts in the provision of education, health and social services.
He said while the Government had an obligation to improve the welfare of citizens, it needed the efforts of all stakeholders, including the Church, to adequately meet the needs of the people.
President Lungu said the Government would continue to provide support to hospitals and special schools for the visually and hearing-impaired.
RCZ Synod moderator Edwin Zulu said the Church had partnered with the Government in providing health and education services, among several other interventions.
Professor Zulu said RCZ was working with the Government in improving food security and in the fight against human trafficking.
He said the Church would continue to support the Government of the day and champion the cause of the poor and vulnerable people in communities.
Prof Zulu said the Church was preaching peace, love and unity among its congregants because Christians were called to be the light of the world.
The commemoration held at Heroes Stadium was attended by former Republican president Rupiah Banda, freedom fighter Grey Zulu, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini and Electoral Commission of Zambia chairperson Esau Chulu.