The government says the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively affected resource mobilization for the construction of the National House of Prayer.
Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Godfridah Sumaili said the project which is being spearheaded by the church has been affected due to the closure of churches.
Rev. Sumaili also commended the church across the country for their active participation in ensuring that the construction process is expedited.
The minister said this in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka.
Reverend Sumaili however, noted that measures have been put in place by the government and the church as partners to intensify the mobilization of funds to complete the project.
“Am glad to say that there has been a commitment from the churches to be part of this very wonderful project. If you went on the site, you will find that there is so much that is going-on already, obviously the resource mobilization has been affected by the COVID-19 situation,” she said.
The Minister added that most churches are willing to be part of the process hence the decision to start holding fundraising events to raise funds.
She cited the recent fund raising event which was organized by the church in Kitwe on the Copperbelt province as one such occasion that will also be replicated in other provinces due to its effectiveness of reaching out.
“Recently, we had a wonderful fund raising event that was organized by the churches in Kitwe and there were over 500 churches that came together, and funds and materials were raised and we are planning that other provinces also follow suit,” she noted.
Rev. Sumaili further expressed optimism that with the COVID-19 situation stabilizing, more activities in terms of resource mobilization and construction works are expected to be recorded.
And Northmead Assemblies of God overseer, Joshua Banda has encouraged the church to work together and ensure that construction works at the site are accelerated for the benefit of the church.
Bishop Banda stated that once the house is complete it will go a long way in the promotion of peace and unity by cementing the national Christian values.
“As you have noticed, there are number of initiatives being undertaken within the body of Christ and therefore we believe that the ongoing works on the construction of the National House of Prayer is another rallying point for us, we believe that once that sanctuary is up and running it will help once again to unite us and it will be a national alter that will represent what we stand for,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) Acting Executive Director, Andrew Mwenda said the building of the National House of Prayer will provide a common place of worship for people in the country.
“Whenever, we are having meetings pertaining to issues of the church, we always ask for permission to use church venues or other places, but the building of the National House of Prayer will provide us with a neutral place and it will show that in terms of physical presence Zambia values the presence of God in the nation not just as denomination,” explained Bishop Mwenda.
In 2016, President Edgar Lungu laid a foundation stone to start the construction of the National House of Prayer which is expected to cost over 30 million United States Dollars.