Government has warned political parties to refrain from stopping their members from participating in the National Day of Prayers, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.
ZANIS reports that Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Godfridah Sumaili said no political party has a right to stop people from worshiping and praying during the national day of prayer on 18th October.
Reverend Sumaili stressed that politicians who don’t want to pray , repent and reconcile with the rest of the nation should not stand in the way of people they lead because faith is a personal conviction that has nothing to do with political affiliation.
She pointed out that political leaders shunning to pray to God who gives all authority are not worthy to lead God’s people.
The minister explained that the National Day of Prayer is not a political activity but a spiritual one that citizens should use to reflect and seek God in their lives.
Reverend Sumaili said people from all walks of life must be allowed to exercise their religious freedom and not be held to ransom on account of their political affiliations.
She urged the church in the country to continue praying and engaging political parties and other stakeholders in dialogue and reconciliation for a common agenda of unity and prosperity.
She said the National Day of Prayer can unlock blessings upon the country which can be translated into tangible development that lifts the living standards of people in the country.
The minister urged Zambians to come out and participate in the Day of Prayer in their respective provincial centres and districts.
Reverend Sumaili said Zambians have every reason to be thankful and prayerful to God because of the peace the country continues to enjoy amidst a diverse people, society and culture.
She added that, the country needs healing so that Zambians can return to God’s ways and stop stealing and abusing the country’s resources.
The minister paid glowing tribute to Church mother bodies and their member churches for taking up the mantle of organising the day of prayer in collaboration with her ministry.
On Thursday, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema said that the opposition party will not be part of the October 18 national ‘prayers’ because prayer without action does not yield results.
Addressing journalists at the party secretariat in Lusaka , Hichilema, when asked whether or not he could encourage UPND members to attend the day of prayers, responded: “Some of us pray every day!”
“Some of us go to the Sabbath every Saturday. Some of us go to Church every Sunday. So, why create a fictitious day of prayer? So, it means maybe those [in the PF] before that day (of prayer), they are pagans. They are even doing negative things, including stealing from nkote (the aged). Then on the day of prayer, they will go and pray; we are not part of them – we pray every day,” Hichilema said.
“Prayer without action does not yield results; prayer must be backed by action. So, let those who create Christians for an individual, other than Jesus, continue doing that. We are Christians for only one God – the father, the son and the Holy Spirit.”