The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Council of Churches of Zambia has opposed the proposed formation of the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs.
In a joint statement, Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops President Teresphore Mpundu and CCZ President Dr. Alfred Kalembo said the Church and State should be and continue to remain separate.
They said in view of the various financial and economic challenges our country is currently facing, they neither see the creation of the said ministry as a top priority nor a prudent decision.
The Church leaders said they believe that Zambians want their country to be a democracy rather than a theocracy.
“We stand by the biblical principle as clearly taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, who declared: “Well, then, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God” (Mark 12:17). Again, our Lord and founder defined our prophetic mandate when he proclaimed: “The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour” (Luke 4:18; Cf. Isaiah 61:1-2).”
“In other words, the Church derives its authority, mission and structure from God and this must not be confused with temporal order of political governance. Fourthly, we take this opportunity to reassure our membership that, we the said Church Mother Bodies, will not be intimidated in exercising our God-given mission of being the conscience of the nation and exercising our prophetic ministry of calling for social justice following the example of our Founder, Jesus Christ,” they said.
They added, “At the same time, we commit ourselves to continue being credible and reliable instruments for promoting a culture of dialogue, reconciliation, justice, unity, development, respect for divergent views and peace in Zambia. May God bless you all and bless our nation Zambia.”